The chest with a piece of the saint’s relics was given by the Moscow Patriarchate as a gift on the occasion of the 1150th anniversary of the Baptism of the Bulgarian people and the 1145th anniversary of the foundation of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The request for this gift had been made to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia by Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria and the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
With the blessing of Patriarch Kirill, the shrine was brought to Bulgaria by Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhniy Novgorod and Arzamas. On May 12, in accepting the relics of St Seraphim of Sarov, an ascetic loved and honoured by Bulgarians, Patriarch Neophyte said, ‘We hope that this precious gift will contribute to the further strengthening of the faith and devotion of the Orthodox Bulgarian people and our God-commanded unity in Christ’. He asked to convey to Patriarch Kirill profound gratitude for the precious gift to the Bulgarian Church, for brotherly love and consideration.
The decision concerning the permanent place for keeping the chest with St Seraphim’s relics will be made by the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.