Blessing of a memorial statue of Cardinal Josef Beran
Prague: Present at the solemn inauguration were Archbishop Diego Causero, apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic, bishops Ladislav Hucko and Jaroslav Skarvada and other guests.
In his introductory speech, Father Vladimir Malek said Cardinal Beran had been a rector of the seminary where the statue had been erected. Historian Jaroslav Sebek mentioned the problems Cardinal Beran had to face under both Nazi and Communist regimes. Msgr Michael Slavik, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Prague, spoke of his personal experience from childhood, when he had met Cardinal Beran. He also explained the symbolism of the memorial – a statue of a praying cardinal and a gate, a symbol of a human heart open to God. In his homily, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk said the blessing took place within the context of the 20th anniversary of the "Velvet Revolution", fall of the Communist regime on Nov 17, 1989.
Building of the memorial designed by Prof Stanislav Hanzik was started by blessing of a corner stone on May 17, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Cardinal Beran's death. Last year, Dec 29, marked the 120th anniversary of his birth.