Celebrations of the anniversary of the arrival of Cyril and Methodius are just beginning

In 2013, we will commemorate the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia. This is an important international event. On this occasion various projects have been prepared. On the national level, there will be two international conferences organized in Prague and at Velehrad. "The first one will focus on the state-political importance of Cyril and Methodius in the 9th to 18th centuries; the other one on the importance of the missionaries for the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries," said Jaroslav Šebek from the Institute of History at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

The conferences are scheduled for spring 2013 and they will be supplemented with a block of exhibitions taking place in Brno, Prague, Olomouc, Zlín and at Velehrad. There are also international contests for children and youth. These are in the fields of literature, history and fine arts. On the regional levels, there are pilgrimages being prepared, as well as other projects, smaller seminars and conferences, exhibitions and social and cultural meetings.

Based on the agreement between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, the nationwide celebrations are also ecumenical. The celebrations will culminate at Mikulčice in the South Moravian region on 25th May within the "Meeting of Cultures", which is organized by the Orthodox Church, and at Velehrad in the Zlín region on 5th July within the "Days of the People of Goodwill", which are traditionally organized by the Roman Catholic Church.

The mutual agreement between the two churches fully acknowledging the Cyrillo-Methodian legacy is a historical moment, which is to point out the unity of Christians in our country on the occasion of the commemoration of one of the most important milestones of our as well as of European history. Both the Slavic Fortified Settlement at Mikulčice and Velehrad are traditional places connected with the Cyrillo-Methodian mission in our country. The holy mass at Mikulčice will be celebrated by a direct successor of Patriarch Photios of Constantinople, who sent the missionaries to Great Moravia - Patriarch of Constantinople, of the New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The presence of Pope Benedict XVI at Velehrad in 2013 is under negotiation.

A unique project is also the preparation of the full-length film, "Cyril and Methodius – The Apostles of the Slavs“, which describes the lives and work of the Slavic missionaries. Its premiere will be in fall 2013.

The aim of the project is to establish general awareness of Cyril and Methodius, the contributions of their mission in the sphere of culture, religion, letters, education and the like. "The celebrations cannot be perceived as purely religious because the missionaries also stood at the beginnings of our statehood. At the same time, the celebrations cannot be either only Czech or Moravian because the Cyrillo-Methodian mission played a role in the history of most Slavic nations," added Prof. Petr Piťha.



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  • Here are our roots.

    (Blessed John Paul II, 22nd April 1990, Velehrad)

    They wanted to become part of those nations and to share their destiny in everything. Here, in this place, at Velehrad, in Moravia, we can feel the historical legacy of the kingdom in a peculiar way – we can feel even those who became its keepers and guardians.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • For us, people of the present age, their apostolate contains even the elocution of the ecumenical appeal, i.e. to build unity again, in a peaceful reconciliation, which later after their deaths was heavily damaged, and in the first place the unity between the East and the West.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • Their work is also a very important contribution to the growth of the common Christian roots of Europe, which by their firmness and viability create one of the main contact points, which must be respected by every serious attempt at reunification of our continent in a new and topical way.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • The story of both brothers, Cyril and Methodius, is a distinct example of unity.

    Saints Cyril and Methodius contributed, to a great extent, to the building of Europe, not only regarding its Christian religious community but also concerning its civil and cultural unity.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

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