Archive for November 10th, 2008

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.

13th November – Blessed Eugene Bossilkov C.P.

10 November, 2008

[Three saintly Passionists – St. Vincent Mary Strambi, St. Paul of the Cross and Blessed Eugene Bossilkov – Painting at Passionist Monastery, Brugnato, Italy]


“They drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4). The martyr Bishop, Vincent Eugene Bossilkov, drank from the supernatural Rock which is Christ. Faithfully following the charism of St Paul of the Cross, founder of his congregation, he intensively cultivated the spirituality of the Passion. He also dedicated himself without reserve to the pastoral service of the Christian community entrusted to his care and faced the supreme trial of martyrdom without hesitation.

Bishop Bossilkov thus became the Church’s radiant glory in his country. A fearless witness to the Cross of Christ, he is one of the many victims sacrificed by atheistic communism in Bulgaria and elsewhere, in its plan to destroy the Church.

In those times of harsh persecution, many looked to him and drew from his example of courage the strength to remain faithful to the Gospel to the very end. I am pleased, on this festive day for the Bulgarian nation, to honour those who, like Bishop Bossilkov, paid with their lives for adhering without reserve to the faith they received in Baptism.

Bishop Bossilkov was able wonderfully to combine an intense spiritual life and constant attention to the needs of his brethren with his mission as priest and Bishop. Today he is presented to us as an eminent figure of the Catholic Church in Bulgaria, not only because of his extensive learning, but for his constant ecumenical concern and his heroic fidelity to the See of Peter.

When the communist regime’s hostility to the Church become more determined and threatening, Bl. Bossilkov chose to stay by his people, although he knew that this meant risking his life. He was not afraid to face the storm of persecution. When he sensed the moment of supreme trial, he wrote to the Superior of his religious Province: “I have the courage to live; I hope I will also have it to suffer the worst and to stay faithful to Christ, to the Pope and to the Church!” (Letter XIV).

And so this Bishop and martyr, who throughout his life strove to be a faithful image of the Good Shepherd, became one in an altogether special way at the moment of death when he united his blood with that of the Lamb sacrficed for the world’s salvation. What a shining example for us all, called to bear faithful witness to Christ and his Gospel! What a great encouragement for those who today are still suffering injustice and oppression because of their faith! May the example of this martyr, whom we contemplate today in the glory of the blesseds, instil faith and zeal in all Christians, especially those of the beloved Bulgarian nation which from now on can invoke him as its heavenly protector.