His Holiness Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria, the oldest Primate of a Local Orthodox Church, died at the age of ninety-eight on 6 November 2012. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent the following message of condolence to the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on the death of her Primate.
To: the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Your Eminences, beloved archpastors and brothers in the Lord,
On behalf of myself and the bishops, clergymen, monastics, and laymen of the Russian Orthodox Church I express deep and heartfelt condolences over the demise of His Holiness Patriarch Maxim, the Primate of the brotherly Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
The Russian Orthodox Church, whose sincere friend the late Patriarch Maxim was during his long life, grieves over this great loss with her Sister Church. I am zealously praying to our Lord Jesus Christ that He may give rest in the dwelling of the righteous to the soul of my Brother and Concelebrant with whom we were united by the bonds of love and friendship. I have especially warm recollections of my visit to Bulgaria this year, our joint prayers, and fraternal talks.
The recently deceased Patriarch lived in different epochs. His paternal wisdom and numerous virtues which he gained while sacrificially serving Christ the Saviour, adorned the ancient Bulgarian Church. His Holiness Patriarch Maxim, who personified the greatness of Bulgarian Orthodoxy, was a real spiritual father for his flock and worked zealously for the sake of the unity and salvation of his flock during years.
I believe that Patriarch Maxim left this world in order to stand before God’s Altar forever in the synaxis of the saints and is praying for his people and for all Orthodox Christians.
His soul shall dwell with the blessed and the remembrance of him will be from generation to generation!
With love in the Lord,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia