To tourists and visitors of Sofia, Bulgaria, they may encounter Dobri Dobrev, a 101-year-old. To those who are unfamiliar with him, the old man may come off as a beggar who depends on what strangers give him to get by the day.
But for the residents in the city, Dobrev isn’t any ordinary man. He is rather a fixture in the area and has been referred as a “saint” and a “divine stranger.” There is even a Web site dedicated to him.
According to a report by Yahoo News Canada, Dobrev lost most of his hearing during World War II. He is said to live 15 miles outside of Sofia. Before, Dobrev would trek the distance on his way to Sofia, but as he slowly aged, he now relies on the bus.
In the city, the old man would spend his entire day asking for money from people who pass him by. What’s surprising is that he doesn’t keep a single cent for himself.
Dobrev receives a monthly pension of €80 or about $100 from the government, which he uses for his daily expenses. So what does he do with all the money that he receives from kind strangers? The generous man donates them all to churches and orphanages.
Reddit user Nullvoid123 wrote that he met and talked with Dobrev a number of times. He said that the kind man once shared that he once “did a bad thing,” and now he is trying to make up for it by helping others.
Dobrev is known to have donated generous amounts to churches, but the largest one was when he donated 35,700 lev or more than $24,000 to St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The kind old man is also known to frequently donate money to orphanages so that they can pay their utility bills.
A film titled Mite, which profiled Dobrev, was produced in 2000. While interviewed for the film, Dobrev stated, ” The good will 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.”