Zlín Daily: The Missionaries will Attract Perhaps even the Pope to Moravia

27. 3. 2013

"We have already addressed the new pope. Both Cardinal Dominik Duka and President Miloš Zeman handed a written invitation to him. One was given to him also by representatives of the Zlín Region. We expect the pope to comment on the invitation after Easter," said the Governor of the Zlín Region, Stanislav Mišák.
In his opinion, it is probable that the Pope will visit Velehrad. That is why not only Velehrad but the whole Zlín Region are preparing for this year's anniversary in an intensive way.

Main celebrations will take place on the feast days, 4th and 5th July, when the Days of the People of Goodwill take place. The preliminary program of the celebrations promises international stars of the music heaven from Italy, Russia but also Czech artists. Among performers, there will be the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Hradišťan and others.

"In the course of the whole year, there will be a number of accompanying events, like lectures, exhibitions and conferences," said the director of the division for culture, Pavel Macura.

The event will be accompanied with a number of security measures. Crews of firemen and policemen will be reinforced, health care will be provided as well as enough parking spots. The main evening concert will be broadcast by the radio channel Radiožurnál in a live transmission.

"Everybody will want to see the new head of the Church and if the pope comes, we count with almost 150,000 visitors," noted the mayor of Velehrad, Stanislav Gregůrek.

A shuttle service will operate at Velehrad during the celebrations. "We hope that visitors of the Cyrillo-Methodian celebrations at Velehrad and of the many accompanying events in the Zlín Region will realize that the missionaries influenced many spheres of everyday life," said coordinator Josef Kořenek.
The general vicar of the Archbishopric of Olomouc, Josef Nuzík, hopes that the events will connect the East with the West. "Hopefully, people will realize that there are places in our country, which have an important character as places of pilgrimage, where they can reflect on the meaning of their existence," he summed up.

Slavic Apostles in a Movie

The story of the missionaries from Solun, Constantine and Methodius, will also be introduced on the silver screen this year. The aim of director Petr Nikolaev is to shoot a four-part documentary, dramatic series mapping the beginnings of the history of our state and, at the same time, a feature film titled "Cyril and Methodius - Apostles to the Slavs". They shoot educational and adventurous parts of the movie not only in the Czech Republic but also in Turkey, Italy and in Cyprus. The project is under the auspices of the heads of both the Churches - Cardinal Dominik Duka and Metropolitan Christopher, the Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in the Czech Lands and Slovakia.

The Missionaries Strengthened Moravia

INTERVIEW/ Consequences of the mission described by Zdeněk Pokluda

Cyril and Methodius invested a large amount of energy to bring us cultural and civilizational values of the East, a well-known historian and archivist from Zlín, Zdeněk Pokluda, thinks.

What was the impact of the arrival of the missionaries, Cyril and Methodius, on Great Moravia as a state?

The arrival of Cyril and Methodius significantly strengthened the position of Great Moravia. Thus, it joined Christian countries as an equal partner. For lives of people at that time the key point was that the Christian religion could spread in an understandable, Slavic language.

Can you outline the contribution of the missionaries for the political development of the country?

Because it was earlier that Catholic monks kept streaming to our territory. They spread Christianity here in the language of local tribes. Those were Christian priests from Western Europe who came here earlier. The arrival of Cyril and Methodius from the Byzantine Empire meant a competition for them. Thus, Great Moravia showed its political independence and equality with the powers of that time - the western empire of Franks, which lies in the territory of the present day Germany, and Eastern Byzantine Empire, which spreads in the territory of contemporary Turkey.

Were there any problems with the Catholic Church regarding the teaching? Because it is the Catholic Church that organizes the celebrations these days. It is an interesting fact which people seem not to realize these days.

The Slavic language of worship became a target for attacks on part of the Roman Church right after the death of Methodius. As a consequence, it disappeared from Great Moravia in a short period of time and it was altogether replaced with Latin. However, we must say that the Catholic Church kept worshipping the brothers, Cyril and Methodius, as their saints for many centuries .

Where can you see a cultural overlap of the teaching of the Church and the work of the missionaries? Has it survived till these days?

The work of Cyril and Methodius has left a permanent trace. Cultural values, which later picked up the threads of the extraordinary maturity of the liturgy in the Old Church Slavonic, have stayed in the memory of the nation. This liturgy has never been forgotten altogether. Some monasteries in the period of the Přemyslid dynasty and Charles IV kept returning to it.

The overlap to these days is the awareness of the fact that both the misionaries did a great job to make understanding for local people easy as well as to allow them to learn about cultural and civilizational values of Christianity. (zoe)

Authoress: Lenka Kašparová
Adapted from the Zlín Daily


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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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