Pilgrims recalled 1200 years since the birth of St. Methodius
Velehrad: Presiding over the mass was Cardinal Dominik Duka, archbishop of Prague and president of the Czech Bishops’ Conference; celebrating with him were bishops of the Czech Republic and priests and among the 23 thousand people gathered in front of the Velehrad basilica, there were also representatives of public life.
In his opening word, Cardinal Duka mentioned several historical events connected with Velehrad, among them the pilgrimage in 1985 that became a massive protest against the communist regime.
Archbishop Jan Graubner of Olomouc – a diocese where Velehrad is situated – spoke in his homily about two cultures, one of them being the Christian culture, realized by introducing Christ’s thoughts into life, and the other the “culture of death”.
“If one’s ego is the only the center and peak of all human effort, then justice, generosity, joy of giving, and love are lacking, so do families, the nation grows old and dies out and the hope fades away,” he said and stressed that the contemporary culture can be elevated by being grateful to God and sharing the gifts with those in need and also with “foreigners who weren’t lucky at their home.”
The faithful then prayed in intercessions for those in need and those who suffer, among other prayers they asked for the termination of the conflict in Ukraine and that those who act violently cease with such behavior.
At the end of the mass, several guests addressed the gathering. Apostolic nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza expressed his joy of being here and reminded the faithful that the Holy Father begins his journey today in the spirit of the evangelizing mission of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, planning to strengthen in faith and love the people of Latin America.
Bishop Yosyf Milyan, auxiliary of Kyiv, recalled sorrows and sufferings of his nation and expressed gratitude for the help offered by the Archdiocesan Charity of Olomouc. President of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Czech Republic Daniel Fajfr underlined that the 600th anniversary of the death of John Hus to be commemorated tomorrow appeals on the faithful of all churches to be courageous. He also mentioned the topical issue of migration calling on the gathering to remember the recent past when our co-citizens found new home abroad and to make sure that those who look for a new home today won’t find closed doors.
Charles Balvo appointed new nuncio to the Czech Republic
The Press Office of the Holy See has announced today (21 Sept. 2018) that Pope Francis appointed a new apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic – Msgr. Charles Daniel Balvo, an American who had already served at the Prague nunciature.
Bishops’ plenary: Church should find her place in society
On 6–7 July 2018, the 114th plenary meeting of the Czech Bishops’ Conference – representatives of both Roman and Greek Catholic Churches as well as religious orders – took place in Velehrad, a South Moravian place of pilgrimage linked with the mission of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.