Sacred relics of great martyr and healer Panteleimon, his Holly head, from Panteleimon monastery on Mount Athos came to Bulgaria for a week from 26 July 2017the eve of the feast of the saint, when Bulgarian Orthodox Church also commemorates Seven saints: Cyril and Methodius, and their disciples: Clement, Naum, Sava, Gorazd and Angelarius, enlighteners of Slavic peoples.
By the prayers of Agiorite fathers of two neighbour monasteries: Panteleimon and Xenophon, Russian clergy in Bulgaria and Bulgarian Athonite Society, a copy of beautiful miraculous icon of saint Panteleymon was painted by distinguished iconographer hieromonk Louka of Xenophont monastery and donated to historical Russian parish of small Saint Panteleimon church in Sofia on the occasion of celebration of forthcoming jubilee year of Bulgarian national liberation from Ottoman empire with Russian imperial support.
The extraordinary grace of bringing of the icon by high Athonite clergy combined with quickly organised visit of relics, which travel very rarely outside Mount Athos was received with cordial gratitude of local Russian and Bulgarian clergy and people.
Beautiful singing of Greek and Russian, guest and host clergy and the choir of Russian church of Patriarchate of Moscow in Sofia and quiet and solemn prayers at traditional parish found by Russian white émigrés in 1920s were followed by official synodal gratitude by Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte and local high clergy.
In Sofia relics were met by long rows of people at Seven Saints church, cathedral church of Saint Kiriaky, and Russian church of Saint Nicolas, then relics travelled north to Vratsa and south to Sandansky on their way back.
This special church event expressed and strengthened ties between Athos and among local Orthodox churches and remained unforgettable.