To celebrate the national Enlighteners Day (November 1) as part of the Patriotism Series, Armeec Insurance Jsc and the Pressa Newspaper presented the readers reproductions of a portrait of the great Bulgarian enlightener and churchman Paisiy Hilendarski, the author of Istoriya Slavianobulgarskaya. The portrait was painted by Kolyu Denchev.
Paisiy Hilendarski (1722 – 1773) otherwise known as Father Paisiy is regarded as the father of the Bulgarian Renaissance and was declared a saint by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 1962. The main source of information regarding the life of Paisiy comes from the autobiographical notes included in Istoriya Slavianobulgarskaya, entries in the ledgers of the Hilendar Monastery, and several letters. Paisiy was born in 1722 in the Samokov Province under the secular name Penko or Peter. In 1745 he became a monk in the Hilendar Monastery where he later rose through the ranks to become a priest monk and deputy abbot.
In 1758 he travelled to Sremski Karlovtsi in a mendicant friar capacity. There he acquainted himself with historical records and chronicles of Bulgarian medieval history which are thought to have served as the basis of Istoriya Slavianobulgarskaya. The work was completed in 1762 at the Zograf Monastery. Paisiy Hilendarski took his book with him on his travels across Bulgaria so it could be copied and distributed among his fellow countrymen. His ultimate goal was to restore their sense of belonging and pride by showing them they had every reason to be proud about being Bulgarians. So far we know of 60 handwritten copies of his book, the first of which was made by Sophronius of Vratsa (1765). The first printed edition of the book was published in 1844 under the title of Tsarstvenik and was heavily edited by Hristaki Pavlovich.
With Armeec’s kind support a concert will be held in the town of Smolian on the national Enlighteners Day to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 101 Kaba Gaidi Bagpipe Orchestra. The sounds of the Rhodopean folklore songs, which live in every Bulgarian heart will mark the beginning of the final stage of Armeec’s Patriotism Campaign.
The idea behind the Patriotism Campaign is for us to take a look back at our ancestors and remember their glorious achievements and the lessons in patriotism we either have not read or have forgotten to teach our children. So that Bulgaria will live on after we are gone.