Archive for November, 2008

10 Years since Beatification of Bishop Bossilkov

11 November, 2008



On 8th March 2008, marking the 10th anniversary of the Beatification of Msgr. Eugenio Bossilkov, the martyr killed during the years of Communism in the diocese of Nicopoli (North Bulgaria), the pilgrimage of his relics began. These will first be exposed in the churches of Belene, the hometown of the blessed Saint, devoted to “Saint Anthony”, and to the “Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. On the occasion of the anniversary, the Liturgy Commission of the Diocese issued a collection of passages and prayers on the following topics: “Bossilkov and faith”, “Bossilkov and the Church”, “Bossilkov and the Eucharist”, “Bossilkov and prayer”, “Bossilkov and the Virgin Mary”, “Bossilkov and the family”, the publication includes passages from the pastoral letters of the Blessed Saint. Celebrations will culminate on 15th March, the same day when John Paul II beatified Msgr. Bossilikov in Rome. Masses of praise will be celebrated throughout the Diocese of Nicopoli. In the parish church of Bardarski Geran, a Mass will be officiated by the Bishop of Nicopoli, Msgr. Petko Hristov. Msgr.Bossilkov was born in Belene in 1890. He was elected Bishop of the Diocese of Nicopoli in 1947. His outstanding intelligence and his love for the youth are his distinctive traits. In 1952 he was charged with espionage and jailed. On 11th November 1952, after atrocious torture he was shot dead. In his last letters to the superiors Msgr. Bossilkov wrote, “if we won’t see a radiant future, paved with blood, others will enjoy the fruits of what we have sown”.

[Source: 2008-03]

The grain of wheat which first must die ….

11 November, 2008

[Picture: Fr. Jose Agustin Orbegozo, C.P., former Superior General with Fr. Floriano De Fabiis, C.P., Procurator General at the 2008 Passionist General Synod in Cuernavaca, Mexico]

“The message of our Bishop Bossilkov for the Church today, for the Congregation of the Passion and for the world, is a compelling invitation to be faithful to Christ, even at the cost of giving up one’s life. An invitation to live the memory of Jesus Crucified, to live a life offered for the good of each individual which, in the Passionist is the source of inspiration for his spending his life for others, even to the point of death. This was the fervent hope of St. Paul of the Cross when he wrote, “Dead to self, let the religious be so disposed to receive the seal of divine grace that, hearts filled with love of God, they may undertake great things for His glory and the defense of the Church, notwithstanding the effort or labour involved, even at the cost of their lives.”

Eugene Bossilkov, as a Christian and a Passionist, in his own personal prayer and calling on the prayer of his friends, to beg strength to fulfill the will of the Heavenly Father in his daily life and to become the grain of wheat which must first die before flowering and feeding the life of others.”

From the Letter of the Superior General, Fr. Jose Agustin Orbegozo C.P., on the occasion of the Beatification of Blessed Eugene Bossilkov, dated 25th January 1998.

Sentenced to death by firing squad

10 November, 2008

[Picture: A collection of clothing and personal belongings of Blessed Eugene Bossilkov C.P., in the care of Fr. Giovanni Zubiani, C.P., Postulator General of the Passionists, St. John and Paul’s Monastery, Rome.]

“By virtue of articles 70 and 83 of the penal code, the court condemns the accused, Eugene Bossilkov, to be sentenced to death by firing squad, and all his goods confiscated… Dr. Eugene Bossilkov, Catholic bishop; completed his religious studies in Italy and was trained by the Vatican for counter-revolutionary activities and espionage. He is one of the directors of a clandestine Catholic organization. He was in touch with diplomats from the imperialist countries and gave them information of a confidential nature. The accused convoked a diocesan council in which it was decided to combat communism through religious conferences, held in Bulgaria, activities called ‘ a mission.’ No appeal of his sentence is possible.”

The High Court, Sophia, Bulgaria, October 3, 1952

Following the Beatification of Blessed Eugene on 15th March 1998, the Bulgarian Prosecutor General then started proceedings for the posthumous exoneration, and in May 1999 a decree of the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Appeal founded that the 1952 trial records contained “glaring violations” of justice and annulled the death sentance.

Blessed Eugene Bossilkov C.P.

10 November, 2008

Born – 16th November 1900, Belene (Bulgaria)

Vested with the Passionist Habit – 28th April 1919

Professed a Passionist – 29th April 1920

Ordained a Priest – 25th July 1926

Appointed Bishop of Nicopoli (Bulgaria) – 26th July 1947

Ordained Bishop of Nicopoli (Bulgaria) – 26th July 1947

Martyred – 11th November 1952, Sofia (Bulgaria)

Declared Blessed – 15th March 1998

Internet links for Blessed Eugene Bossilkov

10 November, 2008


Blessed Eugene Bossilkov @ The Passionist Charism Blog  here

Biography of Blessed Eugene Bossilkov @ Bread on the Waters  here

Eugene Bossilkov @ Wikipedia  here

Select Dates in the life of Blessed Eugene Bossilkov @ My Monastery  here

Blessed Bossilkov @ Butlers Lives of the Saints here

Bishop Blessed Eugene Bossilkov @ Catholic Hierarchy here


Almighty God, 
who bestowed upon Blessed Eugene, your bishop, 
the grace to strengthen his flock 
in the faith and unity of the Church 
even by the shedding of his blood, 
grant us, we pray, 
that just as he did not fear to die for you, 
we, too, may live our lives 
firmly confessing you. 
We ask this 
through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 
who lives and reigns 
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, 
for ever and ever. Amen.