Legend Of The Last Bulgarian Patriarch

The second Bulgarian kingdom was destroyed, the fortified walls were leveled down, the churches profaned, and the relics scattered away. The royal palaces were in ruins. People were grief-stricken. Wails were heard everywhere. Those were alive envied the dead.
The one and only support for the people in those difficult days was the patriarch. Euthymius calmed the people, encouraged and blessed them, suffered and cried with all of the Bulgarians. However, suffering knew no end. The Turkish conqueror, Chelebi Suleiman, was not certain in his victory so he decided to get rid of the keen boyars. Therefore, he summoned 110 noble boyars in St. Peter and Pavel’s church, as if to ask some advice from them, but when they gathered, he ordered that they should be killed. The altars of God sank in blood, the veil of darkness that covered the town grew thicker. That was not the end. The oppressor decided to rob the Bulgarians of their solace and he gave orders that the patriarch should be beheaded. They brought him out of the dungeon and took him to the place of execution. There the holy man had to be beheaded. Euthymius was walking grief-stricken, giving blessing to the people who were dumbfounded with horror, grief, and despair. The patriarch put his head under the axe and said his last prayer.
Then a miracle happened. The hand of the executor turned into stone. The axe reflected the sun rays but it did not fall down over the white-haired man. The Turks stood in superstitious terror. They realized that they had no power over the holy man. The hangman kneeled down in dismay. The Bulgarian people kneeled down too, saying a thanksgiving prayer. However, their joy was ephemeral. There followed another punishment- an exile. Tarnovo echoed with the wails of grief and lamentation. All the people went out to send the patriarch off. Deep and violent was their sorrow.
,,Who do you leave us to, bishop? Who will console us in our woe, Holy Father”, they sobbed. Then they kissed his hands, his bare feet and the earth he treaded on. Mothers sought his last blessing for their children. Heavy at heart, the patriarch blessed the people with a trembling hand. Leaving the ruined town, he bequeathed to the Bulgarians their last solace and weapon-the faith.