On September 19, 2020, at noon, the funeral of our brother, the Most Reverend Petko Jordanov CHRISTOV, OFM Conv., Bishop of Nikopol, Bulgaria, was conducted at the Cathedral of St. Paul of the Cross, in Ruse, Bulgaria. Archbishop CHRISTOV was called to the house of the Lord on September 14, 2020. He was buried in the crypt of the cathedral.
The Funeral Mass was presided over by the Most Reverend Gheorghi JOVČEV, Ordinary of the Diocese of Sofia-Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The celebration was attended by the Most Reverend. Hristo PROJKOV, President of the Bulgarian Episcopal Conference, who expressed his condolences to those present during his homily. Other bishops from neighboring dioceses attended along with our confreres from the Provincial Delegation in Bulgaria.
Friar Grzegorz BARTOSIK, the Minister Provincial of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw) greeted those present, and addressed some words of farewell to our deceased confrere.
At the conclusion of the Mass, a letter from our Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, was read out.
Below is an extract from the aforementioned letter:
In 1989, when Father Dominik ROMANOV was the only Conventual Franciscan friar left in Bulgaria, the Lord sent him two diocesan priests who were candidates for the Order. By the mysterious workings of Providence, both of them, when they were being secretly prepared for the priesthood, had the same spiritual directors. One Director was our brother Friar Josif KRIVČEV, the first Bulgarian friar in the Order and a great friend of St. Maximilian KOLBE. The other was the Most Reverend Giuseppe RONCALLI, who would later become Pope St. John XXIII.
One of the two candidates died shortly after making his simple profession. The other was our Friar Petko Jordanov CHRISTOV. In 1993, one year after making his solemn vows, he was appointed Bishop. This episcopal appointment was the express will of the Holy Father, St. John Paul II. It was seen as a great sign of respect for the Church and the Seraphic Order, whose suffering of such sacrifice and persecution was a testament to the Catholic faith in Bulgaria.
Today we thank God for the gift of our confrere, for his simple, modest, Franciscan life, entirely dedicated to the Church.
May the Lord reward the sacrifice of his pastoral ministry by welcoming him into his Kingdom. Through his intercession with the Good Shepherd, may new vocations be sent to serve the Church in Bulgaria.
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