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The 1,150th anniversary of the arrival of Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia

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Two outstanding scholars, Constantine (who later adopted the name Cyril) and Methodius, also known as "the brothers from Thessalonica" or the "apostles of the Slavs", arrived to the territory of Great Moravia from Constantinople at the request of Prince Rostislav of Great Moravia to spread Christianity.

They were graduates of Constantinople University and Constantine was ranked among the most educated people of the period. They spoke Slavonic and began using it in the liturgy instead of the usual Latin or Greek. They invented a Slavic alphabet based on Greek characters and translated the Holy Scriptures in the language later known as Old Church Slavonic.

Cyril and Methodius arrived to Great Moravia on 5 July 863. In their honour, the date has become a feast day in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The two brothers were honoured and canonized for their Christian mission by Pope John Paul II. They greatly influenced other Christian nations in Europe and were thus declared co-patrons of Europe in 1980 by Pope John Paul II. Furthermore, they are the main patron saints of Moravia.

This year, it is going to be 1,150 years since the arrival of Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia. This anniversary is an important international event. On this occasion, various projects are running throughout the year 2013 – exhibitions, conferences, lectures, seminars, concerts, religious services, educational and interactive programmes for children and youth, etc. The main aim of these projects is to establish a general awareness of Cyril and Methodius and the contributions of their mission in the sphere of culture, religion, letters, education and the like.

The nationwide celebrations of Cyril and Methodius begin in Mikulčice in the South Moravian Region on 25 May within the "Meeting of Cultures" and will be ended at Velehrad in the Zlín Region on 5 July within the "Days of the People of Goodwill". Furthermore, in May and June, there will be, for example, two international conferences in Prague and at Velehrad, whose aim is to present the life of Saints Cyril and Methodius and their contribution for the society of today. The Moravian Museum has prepared an exhibition entitled "Cyril and Methodius / Period, Lives, Work", which takes place from March to 29 September 2013 in Brno. Another exhibition, "Between the East and the West – Saints Cyril and Methodius in the Culture of Czech Lands", is available in Olomouc from April to August 2013, while Zlín is the venue of an exhibition called "Velehrad of Cyril and Methodius", which is open from 9 May to 8 September 2013. More detailed information about the Cyrillo-Methodius celebrations in other venues is available here.
Author: Ivana Jenerálová
Source: http://velehrad.eu
Added: 26.05.2013

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