Hierarchical Sees:

Metropolitan of Plovdiv (1987-)

Vicar of the Metropolitanate of Plovdiv (1974-1987)

Bishop of Stobilsk, Vicar of the Metropolitanate of Vratza (1968-1974)

Date of Elevation to Metropolitan:

February 1, 1987

Date of Consecration:

March 30, 1969

Date of Elevation to Archimandrite:

July 23, 1961

Date of Ordination to the Priesthood:

October 18, 1958

Date of Ordination to the Diaconate:

June 10, 1956

Date of Monastic Tonsure:

June 2, 1956

Date of Birth:

July 29, 1932

Full Name:

Angel Blagoev Chekandrakov



Metropolitan Arsenii of Plovdiv, in the world Angel Blagoev Chekandrakov, was born on July 29, 1932, in the village of Dylgo Pole of the Plovdiv region.

In 1951, he completed the Plovdiv Theological Seminary and enrolled in the Sophia Theological Academy. Upon his completion of the academy in 1955, he was appointed as the assistant of the librarian of the Ryla Monastery. On June 2, 1956, he received monasticism. On June 10, 1956, Monk Arsenii was ordained a hierodeacon. From 1956 until 1959, he was a graduate student in the Moscow Theological Academy. On October 18, 1958, he was ordained a hieromonk by His Holiness Patriarch Aleksii I of Moscow and All Rus'.

On his return to Bulgaria, he was a resident of the Ryla Monastery. On July 23, 1961, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite. From September 1, 1961, until April 1, 1968, Archimandrite Arsenii conducted teaching work in the Theological Seminary in Cherepish. From January 1, 1968, until March 30, 1969, he was the protosyngelos of Metropolitanate of Vratza. At the same time, Archimandrite Arsenii was a specialist in the Theological Faculty of Humboldt University.

Upon the completion of specialization in Berlin, on March 30, 1969, Archimandrite Arsenii was ordained as Bishop of Stobiisk and was appointed vicar of the Metropolitanate of Vratza.

On July 21, 1974, Bishop Arsenii was elected as Metropolitan of the widowed Metropolitanate of Vratza. Under the pressure of the authorities, the Holy Synod annulled the results of the elections. On His Grace Arsenii subsequently they placed Church duties as hegumens of the Troyan Monastery, the Main Secretary of the Synod and vicar of the Metropolitanate of Plovdiv. On February 1, 1987, Bishop Arsenii was elected as Metropolitan of Plovdiv.

Daniil Stoyanov
Translated from the Russian by Daryle Lamoureux