Elder Dobry from Baylovo
He was called a saint, an ascetic hermit , a man who doesn’t take money, an angel, a divine stranger, a traveler from the past, a beggar … Few Bulgarians have not heard of Good Old Dobry Dobrev, many are those who do not have the fainest idea of the true holiness of his cause.
This year Elder Dobry turned 99 and still continues to give selflessly to the others his only treasure – kindness and humanity. And at this advanced age he can be spotted from time to time throughout metropolitan streets in search of generous people to implement his cause.
But Elder Dobry is not a beggar.
Elder Dobry has four children and has outlived two of them.
In the winter cold and uninviting morning he can be seen rolled up the sleeves of an old black coat to carry full buckets and boards around the yard of the church. It is piled with lumber and tools around. The roof repair is now finished, but there is still work to restore the old building. Money for natural regeneration are donated by the good old man. Despite the accumulated years he actively helps in the hard work of another worker.
Meanwhile, Elder Dodry is a good traveler … from the future in the literal sense and he does not stop jetting between his home village and other places to continue his righteous case in support of the church and spirituality. While he was young Dobry Dobrev regularly traveled the distance from Bajlovo to Sofia on foot. It exceeds 25 kilometers. But he can not rely on his legs and uses a bus. As many know him well, drivers often does not even want him money for a ticket. He often relies on the generosity of passers-by to secure the necessary food for the day. In the summer Elder Dobry is often seen to eat a ripe watermelon.
In recent years Elder Dobry most often goes to the church of “St. Alexander Nevski” and the church of”Holy Seven Saints” in Sofia. He collects money needed for the restoration of the church of “St. Cyril and Methodius” in Baylivi – 10 000 Levs. Has made donations for the renovation of the churches in Kalofer and Poibrene. The old man had given 25000 leva to the Eleshnishkiya monastery and the church in Gorno Kamartsi for their restoration. The
largest contribution, however, which helps to promote the work of the saint from Bajlovo, is undoubtedly for the temple-monument of “St. Alexander Nevsky.” But the unbearable amount of 35 000 lev the good old man has collected for years to be donated to the largest Christian church in the country. This happened in May 2009 when the old man found the secretary of the church board Stefan Kalaidjiev and shared his intention to make a big donation. It turns out that the money, penny by penny was payed in a bank branch in Novi Iskar by a close relative of his.. They went to town and began to enter any office of a credit institution to find out where the donation was kept. Just with one signature the temple received the largest donation in its history.
According to Stefan Kalaidjiev ,the average annual amount donated from people visiting the temple is 2000-2500 leva /1 EURO=1,95 leva/. The money is collected primarily around various holidays.The good grandfather donated his money for renovation and covering the throne in “Al. Nevsky” with gold again. New clothes and curtains were bought and a leak was done. As an expression of gratitude some people from the church headed by a preist called Tikhon visited the humble home of the ascetic from Bajlovo and offered their assistance for the purchase of some furniture essentials.The Saint of Bajlovo however refused everything.
This is a man who collects virtues, gathers and collects fruit for the eternal life, summarizes the secretary of the “Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
The above mentioned donations are only a part of the famous ones. The rest are available to him, for whose glory it is collected. With the gifts the good Elder gives he can be compared with another one well known but unreal old man – Santa Claus. Elder Dobry does not take the children bears, dolls and trucks but gives them his example, transmits them hope to become a more honorable and spiritually uplifted people.
And who does not believe in Santa Claus can believe in the good old man. It means to believe in goodness.