The day after Ilinden, Orthodoxy mourns Father Ilia Popov, who left us today after an operation and a long illness.

He has been a priest for many years in the Varna church "St. Nicholas the Wonderworker".

The sad news spread among the faithful who had been praying for him for more than a month. 

"It is with sorrow in our hearts that we inform you that today, July 21, at 3:15 a.m. Father Ilia died. May God forgive him and accept his suffering soul in His kingdom. On Saturday, July 23, at 9:00 a.m. temple "St.

Nicholas the Wonderworker, Varna, a funeral liturgy will be celebrated, and the funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. If there is a change, we will inform you further. Rest, Lord, Your servant Elijah in the settlements of the righteous, where there is no pain, sorrow and sighing, but eternal rest!"

Director Ivan Cherkelov died

Father Iliya was born in 1972 in the city of Targovishte, the Varna Metropolitanate recalled.

He completed higher theological education at the "Bishop Konstantin Preslavski" University of Shumen.

He was ordained a deacon on December 6, 2001 in the church "St.

Nicholas" and on November 10, 2002 in the church "St.

prov.

Elijah" was introduced into the priesthood.

In the first years of his spiritual activity, he was a parish priest in the Church of the Assumption, Galata Quarter and the Church of St.

VMC Dimitar", Vladislavovo district in Varna.

Over the past decades, he has served as a parish priest in the church of "St.

Nikolay" in the city of Varna, and over the years he also looked after the parishes in the villages of Zdravets, Slaveykovo and Gradinarovo.

"Separation with a clergyman is always painful. In general, the death of a clergyman is a loss not only for the parish and the corresponding church, but also for the entire Church. Father Ilia was an exceptional person and a wonderful priest. He underwent several exceptionally difficult operations. He met the trials with mental strength peace and patience He was not able to overcome the serious illness, but God knows when it is most convenient for Him to pluck His beautiful flowers from the earthly garden and place them in the heavenly garden of the Kingdom of God.

On July 23, 2022 (Saturday) at 9:00 a.m., His Eminence Metropolitan John of Varna and Greater Preslav will preside over the Holy Liturgy in the Church of St.

Nicholas" together with priests from the diocese.

After which, at 11:00 a.m., the funeral service for the late Father Ilia will take place.

The Office of the Holy Metropolis of Varna and Veliko Preslav expresses its sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of Father Ilia.

Eternal and blessed be his memory!

God forgive him and rest in peace!

Amen!"

deceased Bulgarian

Varna