by Archimandrite Pavel Stevanov


The Bishop of Provat Antonii died in Rousse, Bulgaria, on 15th April 2002. His funeral was conducted by Patriarch Maxim. Antonii was born in the village of Hurletz, Vratza region, in 1915. He graduated from the Theological Faculty in 1941 and became a monk and a deacon in 1943 and a priest in 1943. He was in Drama, Northern Greece, during the local uprising against Bulgarian occupation. After the communist takeover in 1944 he was thrown into jail but after appealing to he Communist party chief Georgi Dimitrov, he was released. He was ordained Bishop in 1962 and appointed as Vicar of the Vidin diocese but his dream of becoming Metropolitan never became reality. Between 1977 and 1985 he was Vicar of the Dorostol and Cherven diocese and between 1988 and 1992 he was in charge of the Patriarchal cathedral in Sofia. In 1992 Bishop Antonii joined the schism and led its wing in Rousse but he left it in 1997. He attended St. Nicholas' Church near the port of Rousse.