A festive liturgy marked the Nativity of the Lord at the St Alexander Nevsky Memorial Cathedral in Sofia on Christmas morning. Believers venerated the mosaic icon of the Holy and Miraculous Panagia Gerontissa from the Pantokratoros Monastery on Mount Athos, which was displayed at the Cathedral on Christmas Eve.
The Locum Tenens of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Kiril of Varna and Veliki Preslav, led a service on Christmas Eve along with archbishops and monks from Mount Athos who brought the icon to Bulgaria. President Rosen Plevneliev was present as well.
Metropolitan Kiril among other statements in which he highlighted the long-term close relationship of Bulgarian Christians with the Holy Mountain, said: “We have to thank the abbatial authorities of the Holy Mountain that give us strength so as to continue our Savior’s work, which has already begun by our ancestors.”
The icon arrived in Sofia for the Christmas celebrations, after which it will be displayed for veneration in the city of Varna, on the Black Sea.