Begger “Grandpa” Dobri celebrated as living saint in Bulgaria

A 100-year-old beggar in a threadbare coat, “Grandpa” Dobri, is already celebrated as a saint in Bulgaria — a symbol of goodness in a country ravaged by poverty and corruption.

 "Grandpa" Dobri 1For over 20 years, Dobri Dobrev has been begging on the streets of Sofia, collecting alms worth tens of thousands of euros. And he has given it all to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

This has made him the largest private donor of the golden-domed Alexander Nevski cathedral even as he maintains an ascetic lifestyle.

“Take some bread, it comes from God!” the hunched old man mutters under his straggly white beard, offering believers the buns that other people give him as they drop coins into his plastic cup and bend to kiss his hand.

"Grandpa" Dobri 3

“He gave us 35,700 leva (18,250 euros, $24,900) in 2009, while living a life deprived of all comfort,” Bishop Tikhon, chairman of the cathedral’s trustees board, told AFP.

“Dobri is an extremely rare phenomenon.”

Several smaller monasteries and churches also say they have received between 2,500 and 10,000 euros each from the small man wearing peasant leather sandals.

Source : AFP

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