98 year old Dobri Dobrev, a man who lost his hearing in the second world war, walks 10 kilometers from his village in his homemade clothes to the city of sofia, where he spends the day begging for money.
Though a well known fixture around several of the city’s churches, known for his prostrations of thanks to all donors, it was only recently discovered that he has donated every penny he has collected — over 40,000 euros — towards the restoration of decaying bulgarian monasteries and churches and the utility bills of orphanages, living instead off his monthly state pension of 80 euros and the kindness of others.
Hoax or Fact:
The message talks about a 98 year old man named Dobri Dobrev (also spelled as Dobry Dobrev) who is claimed to have lost his hearing during second world war, but nevertheless walks 10 kilometers from his village to spend his day begging for money, and has donated all the money collected - over 40,000 euros - towards the service of churches and orphanage. Yes, it is a fact, for this noble act Dobri Dobrev is called a Saint in Bulgaria.
About Dobri Dobrev
Pictures and messages about this Dobri Dobrev have been circulating online, and not many new about his noble story. But this 98 year old man is not new to the Bulgarians, as many people there see Dobrev begging on the streets of Sofia and most of them apparently know he is not doing it for himself. The old man became so popular there that there is a website dedicated to him now, in the name of Saint Dobry.
According to the website, Dobri Dobrev was born in 1914 in a poor village of Bajlovo, located in west wooded spurs of Ihtimanska Middle forest, Bulgaria. And like the message suggests, Dobri is not a beggar as such, he had given up on his previous life. He had four children and has outlived two of them. Although he lives in Sofia now, one of his daughters takes care of him. It is known from his past that his hearing was impaired from a shell which fall nearby.
His Noble Act
Elder Dobry Dobrev goes to the churches and monasteries around Bulgaria and collects donations to help them. He bows to people, shows them respect and collects money in his plastic cup, and greets them by saying 'Rejoice in God'. He is also a good traveler who continues his righteous collection of donations by traveling from Bajlovo to Sofia on foot, which is more than 25 kilometers. But as he is old, he uses a bus.
The fellow villagers who see Dobry almost every day are absolutely sure that he collects all those money for donations, while he himself leads a pretty ordinary life. The 98 year old man now lives in a small room near a rural church of St. Cyril and Methodius. He prefers to sleep on floor, although there is a bed, and does not like to use any modern facilities.
By collecting money this way, and saving penny by penny, Dobry donated 10000 Levs for the restoration of the church of St. Cyril and Methodius. He had also given 25000 leva to the Eleshnishkiya monastery and the church in Gorno Kamartsi for their development. The best and largest of his contributions went to the temple-monument of St. Alexander Nevsky - 35, 700 Levs. This happened in May 2009, as the country's largest Christian church received its largest donation in decades. The church officials could not initially believe this and later came to know that Saint Dobry collected penny by penny over years and deposited it in a bank branch in Novi Iskar with the help of a close relative. So Dobri's total contribution comes to around 70700 lev, which is more than 36000 euros. The first video is a report of this Saint Dobry, where a father of the church shows proof of the Cheque donated by him.
Saint Dobry is a very modest and humble man and wishes people to become more honorable and spiritually uplifted. He says we should build churches and monasteries for renewing the distressed and devoid people.
This huge selfless act of Dobry Dobrev makes him a Saint indeed! For his noble act, Dobry was also showcased by the Pokrov Foundation as the holy man of God in the year 2000, in a religion-based philanthropic documentary film called "Mite" that showed Bulgaria and the state of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The second video is a part of that documentary and shows part of Dobri's daily routine, where you can also see him talking about his way of life.
A noble man who does not care for fame, but 'begs' for others. How many of us can do such selfless act for our fellow beings!?