When we hear the word saint, we think of God-like men and women who were alive centuries ago. At the very least, we don’t think about people who are living today in this modern fast life when we think about saints, but actually, there are. An old man devoted his whole life for humanity and doing something so “saint-like” that his name will be remembered long after his body has been buried. This 103-year-old man earns thousands by begging but didn’t keep even a single penny for himself.
103-Year-Old Man Earns Thousands
Dobri Dobrev, who was born on July 20, 1914, was a man with the soul of a saint. In fact, Dobri was known as “the Saint from the village Bailovo” because of what he did every day for the people in his village. Every morning, the old man would walk 15 miles to the capital of Sofia in Bulgaria to stand in front of the Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky.
While he was a spiritual man, he wasn’t there to talk to a priest or to address his speech on the corner.
Dobri came to the church every single day to ask for donations. But, the surprising part, Dobri wasn’t asking for donations for himself. Dobri was asking for donations to help out others who were in need.
Throughout the years, Dobri succeeded to collect over $44,000 in donations from noble people at the church.
According to some reliable sources, Dobri donated every single dime that he had raised to charities, to rebuilding churches, and to support orphanages to pay their bills. Even though he had raised so much money, Dobri survived on a little pension of around $100 a month.
Then, in 2000, Dobri donated all of his belongings, including his home, to the Orthodox church in Bailovo.
Ever since then, Dobri had lived a non-materialistic, self-denying lifestyle. After dedicating his life to God, Dobri said: “God gives me bread.” Even though Dobri had a bed of his own, he has always preferred sleeping on the floor.
More often than not, the people who have stopped to talk to the old man, who says that “God is the way,” have broken down into tears from just being in his closeness.
In a 2000 film called “Mite,” Dobri said:
“The goodwill is just and true. Everything in it is good. We must not lie, nor steal, nor commit adultery. We must love each other as God loves us.”
Dobri spent his whole life giving to the needy, but he never considered the necessity to put his noble deeds on display.
Thinking that he wore homemade clothes and naive sandals, the old wise man with the long white beard looked more like a wizard than a man. The townspeople loved him, and quite often volunteered to pay for his bus ticket when he could no longer walk the 15 miles to town. Unsurprisingly, Dobri always rejected the offers. “Dobri is a remarkably exceptional phenomenon,” said Bishop Tikhon from the Alexander Nevsky cathedral.
This “Living Saint” was able to bring light to a community that had undergone an unimaginable amount of darkness.
Sadly, one day the townspeople stopped seeing “Grandpa Dobri” outside of the church. At the age of 103, Dobri passed away on February 13, 2018. He was laid to rest in the churchyard next to the small building where he had lived next to the church since 2000. Dobri may be gone from this temporary world, but his generous, giving spirit will live on to inspire others to serve and help those who are in need as he did. May his soul rest in peace.