SOFIA: “Grandpa” Dobri, a beggar hailed as a ‘living saint’ in Bulgaria for donating thousands to Orthodox Christian churches, died Tuesday at the age of 103, church leaders said. For over 25 years, the hunched figure in a threadbare coat and peasant sandals holding a cup for donations was a regular sight at the entrance to Sofia’s Seven Saints church or the Alexander Nevski cathedral in the city centre.
Dobri Dobrev became the golden-domed cathedral’s largest private donor with his gift of 35,700 leva (18,200 euros, $22,500) in 2009. He went on to help a number of monasteries and smaller churches by donating the alms he collected through the years, which added up to considerable sums in Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest country. – AFP