Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim reposed in the Lord

The Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim reposed in the Lord on 6 November 2012, as  reported by Bulgarian national television. The head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church had been in hospital in Sophia in the past weeks. On October 28th he celebrated his 98th birthday. Today, on Tuesday, the Holy Synod of Bishops will meet in order to elect the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal throne until the election of the new Patriarch.

Patriarch Maxim has been on the throne of the Bulgarian Patriarchs for 40 years. He was enthroned on July 4, 1971 after the death of Patriarch Kyril in March 1971.

He was born as Marin Naydenov Minkov on October 29, 1914 in Oreshak in the area of Lovech.

He graduated from the Seminary Sofia in 1935 and entered Faculty of Theology of the Sofia University in 1938.

In 1941 Marin was tonsured at the side-chapel of the Faculty of Theology and he was named Maxim in honor of the Venerable Maximus the Confessor, a saint from the 7th century.

He was ordained a hierodeacon on 19 December 1941 and the Holy Synod of Bishops appointed him as a teacher-educator at Sofia's Seminary. In 1944 at the Monastery of Cerepish he was ordained a hieromonk. In July 1941 he became archimandrite and then in 1950 he was appointed as the head of the Bulgarian Representation in Moscow.

From July 15th, 1955 Archimandrite Maxim was a chief secretary of the Holy Synod and was editor-in-chief of two church magazines.

Archimandrite Maxim was ordained Bishop of Branit at the Patriarchal Cathedral church of St. Alexander Nevsky on 30 December 1956.

In 1960 Kyr Maxim, Bishop of Branit was elected Metropolitan of Lovech.

On 7 March 1971, upon  Patriarch Kyril’s repose in the Lord, Kyr Maxim, Metropolitan of Lovech was elected as the Locum Tenens and the president of the Holy Synod.

On 4 July 1971,  at the Church-Assembly, Kyr Maxim, Metropolitan of Lovech was elected with a majority of votes and became the Bulgarian Patriarch and Metropolitan of Sofia.

During his patriarchal service, Maxim of blessed repose visited the seats of the Local Orthodox Churches of: Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Georgia, Romania, Cyprus, Greece and others. Patriarch Maxim visited the Serbian Orthodox Church in the time of Serbian Patriarch Pavle.

His Holiness actively participated in international and interchurch conventions regarding the spread of Christian peace principles. Patriarch Maxim received the honorary doctorate at the Spiritual academy "Saint Clement of Ohrid" and was an honorary member of the Moscow Spiritual Academy.

At a reception in the Synod's Palace, Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim received honorary doctorate of Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw. Furthermore, during his mandate, the President of Bulgaria Mr. Georgi Prvanov awarded him with the highest order Stara Planina of I degree for "enormous efforts in spiritual life of Bulgarian people and wise administering of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church".

Information Service of the SOC