With filial love for the Elder and Abbot of the Bigorski Monastery, the Bishop Parthenius

Message from the Bigorski protégés, spoken by Mr. Atanas Cvetkovski, on the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Bigorski Monastery “St. John the Baptist”, on October 18, 2020 year of Our Lord

Mr. Atanas Cvetkovski

Dear and Holy Hierarchs,

Distinguished State Representatives and dear guests,

Please forgive me for taking some of the time designated for this magnificent celebration, but I feel the need to address you on behalf of the hundreds once lost yet today resurrected souls. We have all found our salvation, comfort, healing and the purpose of our existence, in this very Monastery – which celebrates its 1000th anniversary since its foundation.

Our beloved Father and Bishop of our hearts, Bishop Parthenius,

Please allow me, on behalf of all your spiritual children, who were once lost, rejected, spiritually dead, but you found us, adopted us, and resurrected us, to present you with this Bishop’s Set. A Pectoral Cross and a Panagia with the image of The Most Holy Mother of God, whom you especially respect and love. We have chosen the image of the Mother of God called the “Inexhaustible Chalice” because we know that it is in front of this icon you constantly pray for all of us, who have strayed away from the right path, like once the prodigal son of the Gospel did.

And you, as the merciful father, met us in our misery and widely opened the doors of your warm heart, making it a paternal home for all of us. So that we feel what it means to be truly loved, to be a son, and heir to the blessing of God. Therefore, beloved Bishop, presenting you with this Encolpio, our common prayer is that it lies on the left side of your chest when you serve, to always cover that merciful and paternal heart of yours, as Your love covers us and protects us.

And we give you the cross out of gratitude for the crucifying you take for us every day, for the weight of the life-cross you carry for each and every one of us, but also as our reminder that, as you always teach us, there is no greater reward for you, than surrendering our hearts to Christ and making Him the centre of our lives, because we have learned from you that being with Christ is the most beautiful, the most joyful, the most redemptive thing.

For many years, our dear beloved Father and Bishop!