A pilgrimage route from St Sophia Church to Rila Monastery – August 01 (the date is fixed)
Since 2010 the Rila Miracle Maker pilgrimage has taken place in the period August 01-06. The event is organized on the initiative of the Faculty of Theology at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, with the blessing of the Holy Metropolis of Sofia and with the cooperation of Sofia Tourism Administration. The pilgrimage route starts from St Sophia Church and finishes at Rila Monastery.
The pilgrims follow the route that the carriers of the relics of Saint John of Rila walked in 1469. With the help of prayers and worship services the pilgrims cross three mountains – Vitosha, Verila and Rila, stopping in two villages on their way – the village of Yarlovo and the village of Klisura. There they are welcomed by the locals and are housed in the temples. On the 6th day, the laymen arrive at Rila Monastery and worship the relics of St. John of Rila.
1. St. George Rotunda
August 1 | From St Sophia Church to St George Rotunda - the pilgrimage to Rila Monastery begins in the city center with a cross carrying ceremony from St Sophia Church to St George Rotunda - when the relics of Saint John of Rila were last in Sofia they were placed exactly there. The Church of St George is the oldest architectural monument in Sofia and the best preserved building dating back to the Roman Empire.
2. Planinarska pesen (Mountain Song) Hut
Planinarska pesen (Mountain Song) Hut is located at 1692 m above sea level. The building has a capacity of 27-30 beds and further has central heating, indoor toilets and bathrooms, a tavern with a separate fireplace - 40 seats, and a parking lot.
3. Kumata Hut
Saint John of Rila Chapel – next to Kumata Hut. Theological-poetic evening.
4. Cherni Vrah, Vitosha Mountain
August 2 | Cherni Vrah (people setting off from Sofia in the morning can join the others here).
Hiking along the ridge of Vitosha Mountain. Tent camping – the village of Yarlovo.
August 3 | Hiking through Verilla. Getting accommodated in the village of Belchin.
7. St. John of Rila Temple, Panichishte
August 4 | Hiking through Lakatishka Rila. St John of Rila Temple, Panichishte (people travelling by cars and shuttles can join the others here). In 2006 an orthodox church dedicated to St John of Rila was built here.
8. Rila Lakes
August 5 | At Babrek (Kidney) lake | At the Rila ridge | Descend towards Rila Monastery, getting accommodated.
9. Rila Monastery
August 6 | At St John of Rila’s grave. The pilgrimage is organized by the Master’s Degree program in Christian Pilgrimage - Faculty of Theology at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, with the blessing of the Holy Metropolis of Sofia and with the cooperation of Sofia Tourism Administration.