Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Blessed Eugene Bossilkov Teaches Us Today

There is a great article by Father Christopher Zugger on Blessed Eugene Bossilkov. I had not known the story of the this great Catholic martyr, nor how his story relates to us as Catholics today. We are seeing the evil spirit of persecution in America today that has reared its head over the world in many other places. It was a spirit that would take the life of Blessed Eugene in Bulgaria, where the communists murdered him for not giving in to their heinous demands. What I found to be of interest was that Blessed Eugene had a chance to escape his fate at one point and chose to return to Bulgaria, which became a black hole of sorts. Even though Pope Pius XII had received reports of his imprisonment, it was not for more 23 years later that an official report came of his execution. Fr. Zugger writes, "he returned, and was pressured to break with Rome and found a national Bulgarian Catholic church, free of papal control. He refused, and was convicted in a show trial. He was shot with several priests and other Bulgarians, and no one knows where their bodies are, even today...Bulgaria was so cut off from the world, that only in 1975 did Pope Paul VI find out that he was dead, and that was by asking Marshal Josip Tito of Yugoslavia the blunt question “Where is Bossilkov.”  ”Dead”, but even Tito did not know the date (Nov. 11, 1952)." I recommend that you check out the full article and the links embedded in the article. We should all remember the fate of Blessed Eugene Bossilkov, and how his life relates to ours. Fr. Zugger makes a startling observation, which I have quoted below.

Blessed Eugene Bossilkov

"American Catholics talk now of possible religious persecution, because of the mandate to provide Catholic-insurance provided sterilization, abortifacent pills, and contraceptives.  The ins and outs of that are still going on and I want to write more soon. But I will write this: once you let the State step into the doorway of religious freedom, and let the State give mandates that contradict a faith’s teachings, it is very hard to shut that door again. It was the mistake of the English and Welsh bishops with Henry VIII when he demanded their support for his break with the Pope in 1535, because they had not stood up for Catholic teaching on marriage and loyalty to the successor of Peter. They had not stood up any of the previous seven statutes that slowly changed England from Mary’s Dowry to a schismatic Church..."

(Fr. Christoper Zugger-A Tiny Piece of Cassock)

1 comment:

Konstantin said...

A Catholic martyr from my ancestral homeland where there are only very few Catholics, most of them Latin Rite. Another Bulgarian hero was Msgr. Raphael Popov who was, as it seems, at times the only Bulgarian Eastern Rite Catholic cleric in Union with the Holy See.