Bulgarians Celebrate the Patron Saint of Bees and Honey
Every year on February 10, the faithful celebrate a special mass in the Bulgarian Orthodox church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.
They come with their honey pots and candles to honor Saint Charalampos, also known as Haralambos, who is the patron saint of bees, beekeeping, apiarists, and honey.
In this 2:00-minute video by No Comment TV, see how hundreds of honey pots and their candles form a crucifix of light:
Saint Charalampos is said to have lived from 89AD to 202AD in Magnesia on the Maeander, a city in Asia Minor, and his name Χαράλαμπος means 'glowing with joy' in Greek. He was an early Christian priest and may have been a Bishop. He lived during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus (193-211). At the time of his martyrdom he was 113 years old.
There is a great legendary legacy of miraculous events taking place in his presence, mainly with regards to those who tortured him. He was well known for his ability to miraculously heal his wounds with honey after being tortured, which is how he became the patron saint of bees and honey.
Every year the faithful bring hundreds of honey pots and candles and set them on long tables in the shape of a crucifix in the Bulgarian Orthodox church in his honor. They light the candles and pray, asking him to protect their homes and their health. The priest consecrates the honey, and prays as well for the protection and health of his parish.
Today's blog post has a faith-based theme, but we are always interested in anything to do with bees and honey, regardless of view point. This is an ancient aspect of history that reminds us all of the restorative powers of honey.
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