His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Dorostolski was born as Dimitar Draganov Tzonev in the year 1913 in the Bulgarian town of Elena. He took monastic vows in 1938 and over the years served as the abbot of a couple of Bulgarian monasteries. In 1992, he was consecrated as bishop in the historic diocese of Veliko Tarnovo. In 1994, Bishop Hilarion was elevated to the rank of vicar of the Patriarch of Bulgaria. In 2003, he was elected as Metropolitan of the Dorostolski region.
His Eminence wrote over 40 books and 300 poems, articles, memoirs, homilies and sermons. On May 28, 2009, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov awarded Metropolitan Hilarion the “Cyril and Methodius” medal of honor for his contributions to the theological education in Bulgaria. His Eminence fell asleep in the Lord on October 28, 2009 at the age of 96, only weeks after one of his earliest works, “Humility and Pride”, became his first book to be translated into English.