Bulgarian hierarch: In Kiev, we felt among confessors of faith
Met. Gabriel of Lovech is convinced that through their sorrows and persecutions, UOC believers have proved their loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.
The hierarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech, shared his impressions of a trip to Kiev for celebrations in honor of St. Onuphrius the Great, reports the official website of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
In particular, Vladyka Gabriel stressed that he arrived in Kiev not only at the request of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry but also “with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Neophytos of Bulgaria and by the decision of the Holy Synod of the BOC”.
Metropolitan Gabriel testifies that on June 24, during the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Assumption Church of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, "the temple and the surrounding area were overcrowded with clerics and laymen".
According to him, “the representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches were welcomed in the spirit of cordial and brotherly hospitality, with the love of Christ by both His Beatitude and the bishops of the UOC”.
Vladyka says that the representatives of the delegation of the Bulgarian Church "felt joyful and happy from being part of such an assembly of praying children of the Holy Church."
In addition, Metropolitan Gabriel stressed that "common among us, representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, was a great desire to support His Beatitude and the only canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine and pray for peace and prosperity in this Holy Church and in this country".
According to Vladyka, “knowing how Orthodox Christians — bishops, priests, and laity — suffered greatly, especially in recent months, we felt in the company of confessors of Christ, who through their sorrows and persecutions proved their loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church”.
Enumerating all the representatives of the Local Churches who participated in the celebrations, Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech thanked the Lord "for being able to be participants and fellows in this graceful and merciful celebration, where we all had one heart and one will in Christ".
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the hierarch of the Bulgarian Church, Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech, said that His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry follows the path of St. Vladimir the Great, enlightening and bringing grace to the great Ukrainian people.