Today in the Passionist Calendar is the feast of Blessed Eugene (Bossilkov) of the Sacred Heart, the first beatified martyr of Stalinism. As a young Passionist priest, he studied in Rome at the same time as Father Christopher (Coleman) who was vicar of our Crossgar community when I was a novice. After his studies, Eugene returned to his native Bulgaria. In 1947 he was appointed Bishop of Nicopolis, a Latin-rite diocese of Bulgaria where Passionists were bishops continuously from its establishment in 1789 until the martyrdom of Blessed Eugene in 1952. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998, and in 1999 the Bulgarian Supreme Court exonerated him of the charges of counter-revolutionary activities and espionage for which he had been sentenced to death. For more about Blessed Eugene, click here.