Maxim of Bulgaria

His Holiness
Bulgarian Patriarch and Metropolitan of Sofia
Church Bulgarian Orthodox Church
See Sofia
Installed 4 July 1971
Term ended 6 November 2012
Predecessor Patriarch Kyril
Successor Patriarch Neofit
Personal details
Birth name Marin Naydenov Minkov
Born (1914-10-29)October 29, 1914
Oreshak, Bulgaria
Died November 6, 2012(2012-11-06) (aged 98)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Buried Troyan Monastery
Nationality Bulgarian
Denomination Eastern Orthodox Church

Patriarch Maxim (Maximus) (Bulgarian: Патриарх Максим) (Marin Naydenov Minkov, October 29, 1914[1] November 6, 2012) was the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church from 1971 until his death.[2]

He was born in Oreshak, the second of the two children of Nayden Minkov Rachev, but very little is known about his parents' background. He was educated only in his native mountain village of Oreshak but from his late childhood he became a novice monk in the Troyan Monastery and then studied Orthodox Theology at Sofia University. He took Holy Orders in 1941 and became secretary general of the Holy Synod in 1955 and titular bishop of Branit on December 30, 1956.

In 1960 he was elected Metropolitan of Lovech on October 30, 1960, and during this time, despite the atmosphere of persecution under Todor Zhivkov, Maxim was able to win enough favour with the Politburo to be a certainty for election as Patriarch on July 4, 1971, after Patriarch Kyril died.

In the early 1990s, a split in the Bulgarian Church was stimulated by the government of the Union of Democratic Forces, based on the alleged cooperation and affiliation of Maxim with the former regime. However, Maxim was able to take control of the majority of the parishes and to prevent any schismatic threats within the Church. The faction against Maxim formed the Bulgarian Orthodox Church – Alternative synod.


  1. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
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Preceded by
Patriarch of Bulgaria
Succeeded by
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