The History of Bulgaria it is richer than many imagined. They have already found one medieval church, Thracian tombs and even the country's first Greek settlement and now Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered what they believe is the oldest Christian monastery in Europe, near the town Zlatna Livada, in southern Bulgaria. According to the latest archaeological research, the San Atanasio Monastery, still in operation in the surroundings of the town, has been founded in 344 by Saint Athanasius, as reported by the BGNES agency.
Until now, the Casa Candida Monastery, founded in 371 in Galloway, Scotland, was the oldest on the continent, followed by the Monastery of San Martín in the Eastern Pyrenees in France, founded in 373.
Archaeologists have examined the objects found in a hermit's cave and in the hermitage located near the present Monastery of Saint Athanasius in Bulgaria and they found evidence that the great saint might have been in him.
Additional studies in Vatican archives, have confirmed that Saint Athanasius was present at the Council of Sárdica (present-day Sofia), in the year 343. He then traveled to Constantinople and it is believed that he stopped in the area of the present Zlatna Livada, which is located on the road between Thrace and Constantinople.
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (296/8 – 373), was the Bishop of Alexandria and is revered as one of the great Christian saints. He did extensive work on theology and was one of the key figures in the establishment of the Christian dogma of the Faith that is still accepted by both Catholics and Protestants or members of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
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