People in Velehrad celebrated Sts. Cyril and Methodius with Card. Ouellet

06. 07. 2017
Some 30 thousand people gathered on July 5, 2017, in Velehrad to celebrate the solemnity of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, patron saints of the Czech Republic and Europe. The mass was presided over by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Photo by Petr Nedoma, Dominik Novák, Pavel Langer / Člověk a víra

In his homily, the celebrant appreciated the testimony given by Sts. Cyril and Methodius. “It was with great creativity that they used new means and daring methods, they patiently conducted a dialogue in a surrounding that was not calm,” he said, reminding that for these reasons Pope St. John Paul II proclaimed these apostles of Slavs patron saints of Europe. “The work they left behind to the Slavic world remains for the Church and for missionaries of all times an example, a real model of the ‘inculturation’ of the faith,” said Cardinal Ouellet.

He then recalled the visit of Pope St. John Paul II to Velehrad in April 1990, only a few months after the fall of the Communist regime in the country. “Let us rejoice from the celebration of these two figures. Let us rejoice from the fact we live in freedom and can continue in a fruitful transmission of the Gospel of Christ,” he said.

According to Cardinal Ouellet, anyone can contribute to spreading the Kingdom of God as proclaimed by Sts. Cyril and Methodius: with one’s faith and works of mercy, when raising children, with justice and fight against corruption, when helping refugees and the sick, with friendship and artistic creativity. “More than ever it is necessary to present the values of the Gospel in a comprehensible language, so that anyone can understand it ‘in his own language’, with his or her heart,” stated Cardinal Ouellet. (Full text of his homily in Italian is attached.)

During the solemn liturgy in front of the Velehrad basilica, several people were awarded by the Czech Bishops’ Conference for the testimony they give to Christ with their lives. The “Order of Sts. Cyril and Methodius” was awarded to sculptor and painter Jan Koblasa. The “Certificate of Gratitude of the Czech Bishops’ Conference” was awarded to composer Jan Bernátek and to the Christian folk band “Ztracená kapela”. The “Commemorative Medals” were awarded to Mr. Marek Navrátil (for his service in the Charity and as a national coordinator of the charity “Three Kings’ Collection”), Michaela and David Prentis (for their service to the good, especially in the area of the natural family planning), Dr. Jiřina Prekopová (for her activities in the area of child psychology and education) and Prof. Jakub S. Trojan (for his activities in the ecumenical presentation of the Christian social ethics).

Concluding the mass, Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza brought good news especially for the faithful of the Archdiocese of Olomouc: he announced that Pope Francis has appointed two new auxiliary bishops for the diocese, Msgr. Josef Nuzík, vicar general, and Father Antonín Basler, chancellor. (for more information click here)

Author: Jiří Gračka