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MOSCOW, November 8 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev on the death of Patriarch Maxim of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan of Sofia.
In his telegram placed on the Kremlin website on Thursday, Putin said, “Holy Patriarch Maxim lived long life, which was fully devoted to service of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian people. He was primate of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church over 40 years and made big contribution to developing relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church and strengthening friendship and cooperation between our countries.”
Putin wished “spiritual true grit to the Bulgarian president and Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria”.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia expressed condolences on the death of Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria.
Patriarch Maxim died at the age of 98 on Tuesday, October 6.
“The Russian Orthodox Church mourns for the grievous loss. The deceased patriarch was the Russian Orthodox Church’s sincere friend for many years,” Patriarch Kirill said in his message to the Bulgarian Church Holy Synod on Wednesday, October 7.
The Russian patriarch said he “maintain personal friendly contacts with Patriarch Maxim. I won’t forget our joint prayers and warm contacts within my visit to Sofia this spring”.
“The newly departed Holy Patriarch united different epochs. His wisdom and virtues adorn the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. By having epitomised the grandeur of the Bulgarian Church Saint Patriarch Maxim was a real shepherd for his laity. Over years he toiled in the vineyards of the Lord,” Patriarch Kirill stressed.
“I believe that Patriarch Maxim departed from this life to stand before the throne of God and pray about his people and about all Orthodox Christians,” the Russian patriarch said.
The Bulgarian government declared November 9 a national day of mourning for Patriarch Maxim. According to his will, the Bulgarian patriarch will be buried on Friday at the Troyan Monastery where he was on probation at the age of 12 by electing the service to God.