The Opening of the Cyrillo-Methodian Year at the Tourism Fair in Brno

24. 1. 2013

On Thursday 17th January 2013, Metropolitan Christopher of the Czech Lands and Slovakia of the Orthodox Church, Cardinal Dominik Duka, the Governor of the South Moravian Region Michal Hašek, together with a number of other guests, including the Minister for Regional Development Kamil Jankovsky and the state secretary of the Ministry for Regional Development of the Slovak Republic František Palko, opened one of the biggest Central European tourism fairs GO and REGIONTOUR at the Brno Exhibition Center. The reason for the presence of the supreme representatives of churches was that the year 2013 is the year of the 1150th annivrsary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia and the whole territory of South Moravia – the South Moravian Region as well as the Zlín Region consider this anniversary and events connected to it to be by far the most important event in the whole year 2013. They assume that events connected to the anniversary will attract also a great number of tourists. The South Moravian Region and the Zlín Region also support a great part of the celebrations financially.

"This year will be blessed for us," said Metropolitan Christopher when he visited the stall of the South Moravian Region. According to his words the significance of the big anniversary is testified to also by the fact that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is going to visit Moravia in May. He is a direct successor of Patriarch Photios, who sent Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia. Based on an agreement of the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church the nationwide celebrations are approached as ecumenical - a joint celebration. The celebrations will have two peaks - in Mikulčice within the "Meeting of Cultures" on 24th - 26th May, which is organized by the Orthodox Church, and at Velehrad within the "Days of the People of Goodwill" on 5th July, which are traditionally organized by the Roman Catholic Church.

"The meaning of this Cyrillo-Methodian mission is immense. Thanks to globalization and to a certain extent emigration that moved over the Atlantic Ocean in the 19th and 20th centuries, we know that the Cyrillo-Methodian legacy is topical in America. In this sense it is a great anniversary," said Cardinal Dominik Duka.

The fact that important representatives of both churches stood side by side at the opening today and both of them were talking, unanimously, about a return to traditional Christian values, is not a coincidence. A 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 republic on the occasion of remembering one of the most important milestones of our as well as of European history. "There are the Christian East and the Christian West standing side by side," said Metropolitan Christopher. "We go back to the 9th century, the anniversary of which is an emblem of this year. We go back to Christianity which carries values that cannot be left out. It is life itself; life as a pilgrimage."

During the whole day, the presence of Metropolitan Christopher and Cardinal Duka continued with a number of their public appearances, their common festive lunch, a press conference and also with an expert seminar, in the course of which the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Olomouc, Jan Graubner, introduced tens of events of the Cyrillo-Methodian anniversary that would follow. The Archbishop also said that the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius contributed, to a large extent, to the development of the roots and foundations of our statehood. The Cyrillo-Methodian anniversary is a unique opportunity for everybody to show that churches still have much to give to our society and that they keep enriching it and are its integral part. You can find more information about the anniversary at and


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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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