Neophyte of Bulgaria

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His Holiness
Patriarch of Bulgaria and Metropolitan of Sofia
Neophyte of Bulgaria.jpg
The Bulgarian patriarch Neophyte just after his inauguration.
Church Bulgarian Orthodox Church
See Sofia
Installed 24 February 2013
Predecessor Patriarch Maxim
Personal details
Birth name Simeon Nikolov Dimitrov
Born (1945-10-15) 15 October 1945 (age 68)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Nationality Bulgarian
Denomination Eastern Orthodox Church

Patriarch Neophyte (Bulgarian: Патриарх Неофит, secular name Simeon Nikolov Dimitrov; born 15 October 1945, Sofia) is the current head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church from 24 February 2013.[1] Prior to his election on 24 February 2013 he was the Metropolitan of Ruse.


After completing his primary education in the fall of 1959 was accepted as a student at the Sofia Theological Seminary in Cherepish Monastery, and completed his studies in 1965.

In 1971 he graduated from the Sofia Theological Academy of St. Clement of Ohrid.

Later he was trained in church singing at the Moscow Theological Academy.

On 3 August 1975, at the Troyan Monastery, he took the monastic vows with name Neophyte by the Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria.

He was ordained hierodeacon the same month an as hieromonk in 1976 at the St. Nedelya Church in Sofia.

From 1975 he was conductor of the ecclesiastical choir in Sofia and in 1977 became lecturer in Orthodox Singing at the Sofia Theological Academy.

On 21 November 1977 at St. Nedelya Cathedral he was ordained as archimandrite by Patriarch Maxim.

In 1985, at the Saint Alexander Nevsky Patriarchal Cathedral, Neophyte was ordained as bishop.

Four years later he was appointed rector of the Sofia Theological Academy.

In 1991 Neophyte was elected dean of the restored Faculty of Theology at St. Kliment Ohridski University.

He was later appointed Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod and Chairman of the Church Trusteeship of Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

In 1994 Neophyte was elected Metropolitan of Dorostol and Cherven.

In 2001, the Fifth Ecclesiastical and National Council decided to split Dorostol-Cherven Diocese to Ruse diocese and Dorostolski diocese, Metropolitan Neophyte became Metropolitan of Ruse.

At the church council convened to elect a new Patriarch 24 February 2013, he was elected Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church with 90 votes against 47 for Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech.[2]


  1. ^ "Neofit of Rousse elected Patriarch of Bulgarian Orthodox Church". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  2. ^