Bl. Kamen Vitchev
Peter Vitchev, of Strem, Bulgaria, entered the Assumptionist congregation at the age of seventeen, taking the name Kamen. Eleven years later, he was ordained a Byzantine-Slavonic Rite Catholic priest. After earning a theology doctorate, he became a faculty member of a Catholic college at Plovdiv, Bulgaria, serving in various capacities, including the office of rector. Taking his responsibilities seriously, he instructed and governed the students authoritatively, earning their respect. During his tenure at the college, students of different religions, including those of the Orthodox and Armenian Churches, Jews, and Moslems, were welcomed into this Catholic school and interacted in a harmonious atmosphere. In 1948, the Russian Communists occupying Bulgaria closed the school. Thereafter, Father Vitchev was made provincial vicar of his Assumptionist congregation in Bulgaria. But in July of 1952, he was arrested by the Communists, falsely charged with heading a "Catholic conspiracy" against the government. On November 11, 1952, he was executed by gunfire.