National Pilgrimage to Velehrad for Priests

14. 1. 2013

Velehrad: In the period between 15th and 17th April 2013, within the celebrations of the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius, a pilgrimage to Velehrad for bishops, priests and deacons is prepared. Priestly vocation will be the central theme of the program, the main point being a holy mass for pilgrims, which will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Olomouc Jan Graubner on Tuesday 16th April 2013 from 10 a.m. - Cardinal Dominik Duka will say the homily.

Monday evening prayers in the penitential spirit will become an important event as well as Tuesday afternoon blessing, which will have a character of sending priests out to the world as servants of the Gospel.

During the pilgrimage for priests, apart from the rich spiritual program, in which the bishops of Bohemia and Moravia will be involved, and apart from the accompanying cultural program, there will also be a number of interesting lectures on topics which priests meet with in their practice. Abbot M. Samuel from the Trappistine monastery in Nove Dvory will speak, besides other things, also about the search for the identity of a priest; Mons. Aleš Opatrný Th.D. will have a lecture on the topic of Pastoration of the Divorced and Prof. PhDr. Vladimír Smékal, CSc. will talk about the issue of Maturing in the Priestly Profession.

On Tuesday 16th April, we will also commemorate Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík, the most significant Czech theologian living abroad, who died in Rome in 2010. He was a world famous expert in spirituality of the Christian East, an important representative of ecumenic efforts and a respected representative and propagator of Czech culture. That is why the day will begin with a lecture of Marko Rupnik, who is the director of the Roman Center Aletti, whose member Cardinal Špidlík was, on the issue of missions in the contemporary world.

600 priests are expected to participate in the main part of the program at Velehrad. They can apply for the joint national pilgrimage using an electronic application form at or via the following phone number: 587 405 290 .

One of the most important joint pilgrimages for priests took place at Velehrad on Wednesday 10th April 1985 as a reminder of the 1100th anniversary of the death of Saint Methodius. Even though it took place on a weekday, more than ten thousand people took part in it. In the course of that pilgrimage, Cardinal Tomášek read the message of Pope John Paul II., appealing to priests not to yield to fear and hopelessness, having Methodius as their model, and at the same time he asked the priests present there to refuse any involvement in the activities against the regime. This pilgrimage was a spiritual predecessor to the mass pilgrimage in summer of that same year.

Contact person: P. Petr Bulvas (731 621 207,


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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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