The event was held at the Coat of Arms Hall at the President’s Office.
It was attended by representatives of the government, the National Assembly, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).
The Head of State delivered a speech, referring to the reasons for conferring one of the highest state orders on the spiritual leader of Bulgarian people.
“This order is a modest expression of our recognition, Your Holiness, of the services you have rendered for many years to Bulgarian people in a selfless manner. This order is a sign of gratitude on the part of Bulgarian statehood for your wise guidance of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Neophyte has always favoured the unity of the church, being led by the thought of people’s welfare,” President Plevneliev stated.
In his words, since heading the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Neophyte has more than once lent support to people in distress and has urged the nation to show solidarity.
Rosen Plevneliev also said the Patriarch strengthened not only the Orthodox faith through his activity but also the traditionally good relations between Bulgaria’s major faiths.