The new chapel “St. Apostle Paul” will help to heal in the village of Ognyanovo. It will be consecrated by His Eminence Seraphim on June 30. The chapel was built on the idea and with the help of the local businessman Ivan Bilarev and his family.
It is no coincidence that the patron saint of the new holy place will be the apostle Paul. According to historical evidence, it is the first apostle who has blessed Ognyanovo’s healing mineral waters to treat bouts.
The reason for this is revealed by scientists in a message of the holy apostle to his disciple Titus, who preaches the island of Crete and Dalmatia. The Holy Apostle Paul calls him: “Try to come to me in Nikopol because I have decided to stay there through the winter.” Along the Mesta river, in the valley between the Pirin and the Rhodopes, stays the Roman city of Nikopolis ad Nestum rose. The ruins of the majestic settlement in the past and today can be seen very close to the town of Gotse Delchev and the village of Ognyanovo.
It is supposed that it is the same Nikopol being presumed by the fact that he was only 70 kilometers from Philippi, near today’s Drama, Greece. This is where St. Paul baptized the first Christian in Europe – Lydia, who first believed his words about Christ’s work and decides to follow the rules of the new religion. Thus, in fact, the name of the apostle bestows the healing springs in Ognyanov with healing power and blesses them.
The Chapel of St. Apostle Paul rises in the yard of the former Ognyanovo Prophylaxis, today the Therma Vitae hotel. The site for the building and the founding stone was consecrated personally by the Metropolitan of Nevropos Seraphim. The architecture of the chapel was commissioned by arch. Stella Duleva, known for her projects for the construction of various Christian temples in Bulgaria. The exterior of the chapel is a work of the painter Pavel Katsalev, an artist from Koprivshtitsa. He is the author of all the mosaics outside and inside the floor.
The worship of the iconostasis icons is also the work of Katsalev. The iconostasis and the door itself were born by the hands of the famous wood carver Atanas Kiryakov from Koprivlen. The door is made of solid oak and the iconostasis is made of lime tree. The painting of the inner part of the chapel was commissioned to the painter Boris Donev, whose roots are from Ognyanovo. Donev is famous for his iconography and actively participates in the reconstruction of the Bulgarian monastery in Sveta Gora. The rest of the building was built by IB Building.
The mineral spring in Ognyanovo, known as Mirto, treats over 100 types of diseases. It has a temperature between 39 and 43 degrees and has been exploited since antiquity. The physicochemical composition of water is particularly suitable for the treatment of diseases of the locomotor system, endocrine, respiratory and digestive systems, metabolism, nervous, gynecological and cardiovascular diseases.