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Assumption Catholic Cathedral

Religious

The Uspenie Bogorodichno is an Eastern Catholic church situated in Sofia, Bulgaria, serving as the cathedral of the Sofia Apostolic Exarchy. Its origins trace back to a significant initiative in 1921, when the Holy See dispatched a representative to assess and support the needs of Eastern Catholics, aiding their aspirations for a dedicated place of worship. Bishop Vinkenti Peev, an advocate for Western Rite Catholics, energetically supported this cause.

Generous contributions poured in, including personal donations from Pope Benedict XV and his successor, Pope Pius XI, amassing a sum of BGN 2,000,000 to kickstart the construction. The site, spanning 200 square meters, was purchased by Ivan Geshov, while Bishop Peev took direct charge of the construction.

Amid a ceremonious occasion on September 17, 1922, the foundation stone was laid. Engineer Heinrich designed the church, marking it as Sofia’s inaugural reinforced concrete church. Artists Kozhuharov and Sotirov adorned the interior with frescoes, while woodcarvings were meticulously crafted by Todor Hristov. Vatsulka generously undertook the gilding of the iconostasis.

Within two years, the church stood complete. On August 28, 1924, the newly constructed Assumption Catholic Church was blessed. Monsignor Angelo Roncalli, dispatched as the apostolic visitor on April 25, 1925, finalized the spiritual administration by appointing Kiril Kurtev as the mentor of the Eastern Rite Catholics, eventually ordained as a bishop in Rome. This pivotal appointment transformed the church into a cathedral.

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