His Beatitude Maxim, Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria passed away this morning, at 4.00 hours, in a hospital in Lozeneț, Sofia, where he had been hospitalised for a longer treatment. Patriarch Maxim headed the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria from 1971, and on 29 October 2012, he was 98 years old.
His Beatitude Maxim was born on 29 October 1914, in Oreshak village, district of Loveci. He was baptised Marin Naidenov Minkov. He became a brother at Troyan Monastery and then studied Orthodox theology at the University of Sofia. He was ordained hierarch in 1941, appointed general secretary of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 1955, and on 30 December 1959 he became titular Bishop of Branitsa.
On 30 October 1960, he was elected Metropolitan of Loveci. After Patriarch Kiril passed away on 7 March 1971, His Beatitude Maxim was elected Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria on 4 July 1971.
His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church conveyed a message of condolences, which we render below:
To the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
His Excellency NAUM, Assistant Bishop, Secretary of the Holy Sinod
It is with deep Christian sorrow that we have received the news of the passing away from this world, after a long illness, of our Brother in Christ and concelebrant, of blessed memory, Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria.
On behalf of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church and of the clergy and the faithful from Romania, we share in the sorrow caused by this event and convey to the hierarchs, the clergy and the faithful of the sister Orthodox Church of Bulgaria our condolences, praying that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest, repose his soul in peace among the righteous and grant to the entire Orthodox people of Bulgaria protection and strength in faith.
May his memory be eternal!
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church