Metropolitan Cyril was an archbishop in the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria. And he is a great hero of the faith.
During World War II, Bulgaria was an ally of Nazi Germany. One night, the Nazis rounded up the Jews and took them to the train station. They would be deported to Auschwitz for execution.
But then, at the end of the boulevard leading to the train station, Metropolitan Cyril appeared. He was dressed in the black garb of an Orthodox priest. He stood well over six feet tall, and was wearing his bishop’s miter on his head. He looked like a giant.
There were about a thousand Orthodox believers standing behind him. It was alarmingly clear what was about to happen. He was going to confront the elite SS troops and their machine guns.
It began. He strode down that boulevard, the church people marching behind in silence.
The SS tried to keep them away. But Metropolitan Cyril laughed in their face. He pushed their machine guns aside, and walked among the Jewish people.
The church people followed him onto the platform and surrounded the Jews, acting as human shields.
Metropolitan Cyril raised his hands in the ancient sign of blessing. To those Jewish people about to be shipped to Auschwitz for execution, Cyril quoted from their Book of Ruth:
Where you go, I will go. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. (Ruth 1:16)
And he told the Nazis he would block their train … with his own body.
That night, Metropolitan Cyril saved the lives of every one of those Jewish people.
And in the days that followed, Hitler never got a Jewish person from Bulgaria.
Not even one.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.