Prague, July 6 (CTK) – A call for Europe to endorse its Christian roots was made on Thursday in a sermon by Olomouc Bishop Rudolf Gobel in Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel, which marked the 602nd anniversary of burning Czech church reformer Jan Hus (John Huss) to death in 1415.

The people present prayed for the prosecuted, for those who help persons in need and those who benefit society by their profession.

Gobel said the Czech Republic needs Hus as its model just as it needed him many times in the past.

He said Hus can help Czechs remember their Christian tradition, on which the present society is based. The tradition must be taken care of throughout Europe, Gobel said.

“Don’t let us push Christianity from our world,” he said.

According to CTK’s estimate, the Mass, celebrated by Tomas Butta, patriarch of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, was attended by over 200 people.

Hus’s burning to death was commemorated in other places of the Czech Republic on Thursday.

In Husinec, south Bohemia, Hus’s native village, an ecumenical Mass was said.

Hus (1369-1415) was a Catholic priest. However, he criticised his church for having deviated from its early ideals, rejected its institutionalisation, criticised priests living in sin and selling indulgences.

The church labelled him as a heretic and he was burned to death at the Constance Council on July 6, 1415. His death unleashed a revolution in the Czech Lands.

In addition to the effort to reform the church and society, it is also said that Hus introduced diacritical marks in the Czech orthography.

Contemporary historians say Hus is an example of honouring principles, courage, freedom of conscience and willingness to stick to the truth. In many respects, he was ahead of the principles of future protestant reformers.

The anniversary day of his death is a national holiday in the Czech Republic.