Velehrad, South Moravia, July 5 (CTK) – Cardinal Marc Ouellet called for justice and sound manners in social and political life, mainly the anti-corruption struggle, in a Mass he said on the occasion of the 1154th anniversary of the arrival of Christian missionaries Cyril and Methodius in Moravia on Wednesday.
Ouellet, one of the Vatican’s highest-ranking men, also invited believers to help refugees and the ill.
The Mass is regularly held outside the Velehrad basilica on July 5, the Ss Cyril and Methodius holiday.
It was attended by 30,000 people, which was some 7,000 more than lasat year, organisers said.
Ouellet several times stressed the importance of Cyril and Methodius in the propagation of faith, culture and education.
“We pay our respect to these two holy missionaries of Greek origin, who succeeded in passing on your ancestors a new life of Gospel in such an effective way that it assumed a fundamental importance not only for you, but also all Slavic nations, and even for all Europe,” Ouellet said.
The two brothers came in Great Moravia in 863 at the request of prince Rastislav. They started to teach the Christian faith to the locals in their language.
Ouellet said Cyril and Methodius were fully devoted to this challenge.
“They created an alphabet, translated the gospels, wrote liturgical and catechetical books. They applied courageous methods, they led a dialogue with unwavering patience in an environment that was not always calm, and at the same time they always enjoyed Roman popes’ support,” Ouellet said.
He cited the late Pope John Paul II, who said that the two brothers’ legacy remains a model for the church and missionaries at all times.
He also mentioned the Pope’s visit to Velehrad in 1990.
Ouellet said present-day Europe is under the rule of relativism and nihilism. It has lost the inheritance of the fundamental values ensuing from the Bible, values that were passed over during centuries by the exemplary figures of saints, seekers and missionaries.
He said the Czech Republic is a country with a long Christian tradition which also knows the risk of secularisation and relativism.
“We must not let ourselves be stripped of hope which is a treasure contained in Christ’s Gospel. This is what the great Moravian Cardinal Spidlik, who is buried in this basilica, an excellent figure of your people whom I admire, reminds us of. I am happy and honoured by that I knew him personally,” Ouellet said.
A Mass of the Byzantine-Slavic ritual will be held in the Velehrad basilica this afternoon. It will be said by Ladislav Hucko, titular bishop of Horaea as well as Apostolic Exarch.
A total of 1.6 million crowns were collected at the 18th benefit concert held within Good Will Days at Velehrad on Tuesday night.
Last year, 1.4 million crowns were collected.
This year’s concert was attended by 22,000 people.