Blessed Vincent Eugene Bossilkov, Passionist Bishop and Martyr
Belene (Bulgaria), November 16, 1900 – Sofia (Bulgaria), November 11, 1952
Vincenzo was born in Belene (Bulgaria) in 1900. His family belonged to the Latin-rite Catholic minority in the Diocese of Nicopolis. At 11 he was sent to Ores, to the school of the Passionist Fathers. Hence his vocation which would be planted with ten years of study in Belgium and Holland. He joined the congregation with the name of Eugene and became a priest in Bulgaria. He then went again to Rome. Returning home he waived all diocesan duties to devote himself to what he feels like his true mission: to explain the cross to the peasants in their language. In 1944 he was appointed Bishop of Nicopolis, in one state (the fledgling People’s Republic of obedience under Stalin) against religion. Still unable to come to Rome in 1948 when asked by Pope Pius XII. Then began the mechanism of seizures, evictions, orders to match a ‘national church’ vassal of a scheme, asked to repudiate the Pope. But Eugene was opposed. This caused his arrest in July 1952, torture, mock trial, death sentence and murder in the prison of Sofia, in secret. His body was thrown into a common grave. Pope John Paul II beatified him on March 15, 1998.
Roman Martyrology: At Sofia, Bulgaria, Blessed Vincent Eugene Bossilkov, Bishop of Nicopolis’ and Martyr of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus, who, under a tyrannical regime, was led to jail for refusing to renounce communion with Rome and cruelly tortured, was condemned to death on charges of treason and then shot.
Source: Santi e Beati