Sofroniy Vrachanskiy

Sofroniy Vrachanskiy

Bulgarian priest, one of the inspirers of the Bulgarian national revival of the 18th century.
Country: Bulgaria

Biography of Sofroniy Vrachanski

Sofroniy Vrachanski, born Stoyko Vladislavov, was a Bulgarian priest and one of the inspirations behind the Bulgarian national revival in the 18th century. He was born in the town of Kotel in Central Bulgaria in 1739, into a family of cattle traders. Growing up in his hometown, he attended school at a monastery and studied Greek and Slavic books. After working as a weaver, he became interested in religion and was ordained as a priest in 1762.

Sofroniy Vrachanskiy

Throughout his career, Sofroniy Vrachanski worked as a teacher and writer. He had the opportunity to meet Paisiy Hilendarski, who showed him his "History of the Slavo-Bulgarian People," from which Vladislavov made a list. Between 1770 and 1775, he visited Mount Athos. In 1792, he left Kotel and served in Karnobat, later visiting Arbanasi. On September 17, 1794, he became the bishop of Vratsa and adopted the name Sofroniy.

While serving as the bishop, Sofroniy actively participated in public life and reportedly initiated a delegation from Vratsa to Moscow. He had close ties with the Phanariotes, and in 1797, he left his bishopric due to pressure from the Ottoman Empire. He spent three years in Vidin, where he formulated his literary goals. In 1803, he moved to Bucharest.

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812, Sofroniy called on Bulgarians to support the Russians. He passed away in 1813, although the exact date of his death remains unknown. However, the last document about him is dated August 2. Sofroniy wrote prolifically and successfully during his time in Bucharest. He became the author of the first printed book in the modern Bulgarian literature, "Nedelnik," a collection of rules and instructions for all church holidays. He was also one of the pioneers of publishing in Bulgaria and the creator of the contemporary Bulgarian literary language. Additionally, he wrote his autobiography, "Life and Sufferings of the Sinful Sofroniy."

On December 31, 1964, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church canonized Sofroniy Vrachanski.