We know that life is a Gift. This exceptional man chose the path of a beggar but one with a difference. In another day and age, he would have been known as a “Fool for Christ”. A Fool for Christ is another kind of Hero. Dobrev’s ingenuity is living the life of a beggar, although he does not actually beg. He tells stories to people and they give him money, then he donates to the church. Dobrev’s life seems a mixture of both “life and myth,” bordering on the legendary prankster. As it does, he reminds us all of the Divine prankster that lurks within each of us.. Dare we act on our own prankster nature? Probably not. First the call has to come.
(Foolishness for Christ: refers to behavior such as giving up all one’s worldly possessions to deliberately flout society’s conventions to serve a religious purpose – particularly of Christianity. Such individuals were known as both “holy fools” and “blessed fools.”)
Dobrev’s fame is now spreading outside of Bulgaria as his story is disseminated via the Internet. For example, one laudatory web description of Dobrev states: He is called a saint, an ascetic hermit, a man who doesn’t take money, an angel, a divine stranger, a traveler from the past, a beggar. Few Bulgarians have not heard of Good Old Dobry Dobrev, many are those who do not have the faintest idea of the true holiness of his cause. This year Elder Dobry turned 98 and still continues to give selflessly to the others his only treasure – kindness and humanity. And at this advanced age he can be spotted from time to time throughout metropolitan streets in search of generous people to implement his cause.
Elder Dobry has been raising money for decades to restore churches throughout Bulgaria. He is not afraid of cold and bad weather, does not worry that he will remain hungry. He is not angry at people’s indifferent to his work. The old man radiates kindness and meekness. He is ready to kiss the hand of a child who has dropped a coin into his box, to talk about God with every passerby, to give thanks for the charity. But Elder Dobry is not a beggar. He does not rely on strangers to save his body, but he wants to save their souls. A man like him cannot be called a beggar who has forgotten his needs and is raising money for a lofty mission, far from the material benefits of life. To donate to the church means to bestow to the generations, to faith in a godly future to build a benevolent Bulgaria. This is what Elder Dobry thinks he does without expecting gratitude. He respects people. He sees the world around him is selfish, but he doesn’t get upset and instead provides an example with his donations. So many people worship the faith of the man who doesn’t take money. We don’t know much about Elder Dobry’s life. He does not want fame and does not want to divulge details of his daily life. It’s enough for him that people know he is a good person who collects money and donates it to the Bulgarian churches and monasteries.