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On 3 February 2016, the Sacred Bishops’ Council, at its 5th plenary session held in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, considered an issue of canonization of Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Boguchary.

Taking part in the session was a delegation of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church consisting of Metropolitan Joan of Varna and Veliki Preslav, Bishop Arseny of Znepolje, vicar of the Plovdiv Metropolia, and Archimandrite Feoktist (Dimitrov), representative of the Bulgarian Patriarch to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, and Metropolitan Joan of Varna and Veliki Preslav – co-chairmen of the Joint Commission of the Russian and the Bulgarian Orthodox Churches on the Canonization of Archbishop Seraphim – presented reports on the life and veneration of Archbishop Seraphim.

Among those who emphasized the necessity of his glorification were His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, Metropolitan Alexander of Riga and All Latvia, Metropolitan Sergiy of Voronezh and Liski, Metropolitan Mark of Ryazan and Mikhailov, Archimandrite Philip (Vasiltsev), rector of St Nicholas Church in Sofia, the Metochion of the Moscow Patriarchate (Archbishop Seraphim was buried in the crypt of that church).

The members of the Council unanimously voted for the canonization of Archbishop Seraphim who has been venerated both in Bulgaria and Russia for many years. After that, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk read out the Decision of the Sacred Bishops’ Council on the Canonization of Archbishop Seraphim of Boguchary.

The Council members said a prayer to the newly glorified saint.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia handed over to Metropolitan Joan of Varna and Veliki Preslav an icon of St Seraphim, which is to be presented to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. It was painted by the icon painting workshop of the St Petersburg Theological Academy.

Information Service of the Bishops’ Council/

DECR Communication Service