Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria


Hieromonk Theophan

On 17th September 2018, after a prolonged illness, reposed in the Lord Hieromonk Theophan (Nikolov) born on 2nd November 1939.

Father Theophan (in the world, Nikolay Itsov Nikolov), who grew up in a pious Orthodox family, embraced Christ’s faith with all his heart and decided to dedicate his life to God. He entered St. Kliment Ohridski Academy of Theology, where he met Archimandrite Sergiy (Yazadzhiev). However, not long after that, he left the Academy due to his disagreement with the calendar reform introduced by the Bulgarian Patriarchate in 1968. The spiritual connection with Archimandrite Panteleimon (Staritskiy) and Abbess Seraphima (Liven), which developed during those years, led to a new stage in his spiritual life. Meanwhile, Nikolay became an assiduous helper in Knyazhevo Convent of The Protection of the Mother of God participating in the renovation of St. Luke Church and in a number of other practical activities.

In order to serve the catacomb church community, on 21st August 1988, in the conditions of the totalitarian regime, he was secretly tonsured a monk under the name of Theophan. Soon after that, Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Phyle ordained him a deacon, and following that – a Hieromonk. Father Theophan started to serve tirelessly as an ephimerios in our convent. From 1993, after open church ministry became possible, he served for more than a decade also in churches of the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria. With loving care and diligence he received the confessions of quite a large number of parishioners and helped them in their spiritual life. Despite his serious illness and physical suffering, Father Theophan strived to perform his priestly duty until his last breath. As a confessor of the nuns during his last years, he humbly shared with them his spiritual experience, invariably referring to the spiritual instruction of the Holy Fathers, whose ascetic works he knew and continually reread. With his characteristic sincere compassion for the hardships and sorrows of his spiritual children, he suggested to them relevant prayers and books, and often he prayed for them himself with suitable payer services. Father Theophan set an example of struggle in repentance, in humility, in self-taming, in his efforts to remain true to Jesus Christ, our Lord, and to the vows taken before Him to the very end.

We believe that through the merciful intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, Whom he deeply venerated and invoked in prayer, our Most Gracious Saviour will forgive his voluntary and involuntary sins and will grant him His Heavenly Kingdom.

The funeral service and his burial will take place in Knyazhevo Convent The Protection of the Mother of God on 18th September at 5 p.m.

From the bereaved sisters in Knyazhevo Convent “The Protection of the Mother of God”