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Home WHO WE ARE History Bulgarian Martyrs

Bulgarian Martyrs PDF Print E-mail

November 11, 1952, at 11:30 p.m., in the central prison of Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, three Bulgarian Assumptionists, Fathers Kamen Vitchev, Pavel Djidjov and Josaphat Chichkov, were shot by a firing squad. At the same time, a Bulgarian bishop, a Passionist, Eugene Bossilkov, was also shot. All four had been condemned to death on October 3, during a trumped-up trial, accused of spying for the Vatican, plotting an uprising and being agents of capitalism.

Bishop Bossilkov was beatified by Pope John Paul II, but the canonization process of the three Assumptionists was not introduced at the same time because of the risk of aggravating the situation of another fifteen Assumptionists in Bulgaria who had themselves been in prison or were still exercising some ministry while being closely watched by the Bulgarian political police, as ordered by Moscow.

For many years, the date of their execution was unknown because the archives of the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior could not be consulted until the collapse of Communism.

The bodies of the four martyrs were never found. They had been buried in a common grave.
Countless were the testimonials of the holiness and martyrdom of these men of God... On November 11, 2000 in Plovdiv, the alumni of St. Augustine College, the famous Assumptionist college there, with the help of the municipality, erected a statue to commemorate their martyrdom.

To understand today what happened in 1952, we must learn something about Bulgaria, about Bulgarian Christianity, about the Assumptionist presence in that country since 1863 and about the three Assumptionists who died for their faith during a November night in 1952. Please check the articles below:
- Information on Bulgaria
- The Assumptionists in Bulgaria
- Blessed Kamen Vitchev, A.A.
- Blessed Pavel Djidjov, A.A.
- Blessed Josaphat Chichkov, A.A.
- The Canonisation Process of the Bulgarian Martyrs, by Father Bernard Holzer, A.A. Postulator of the Cause

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 August 2010 05:07
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