Bulgarian Delegation Honors Saints Cyril, Methodius in Rome

Culture | May 24, 2011, Tuesday // 10:37|  views

Pope Benedict XVI (R) receives Tsetska Tsacheva (L), Parliamentary Speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, during a private audience at the Vatican, 23 May 2011. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Day of Bulgarian Letters, Education and Culture, May 24, will be marked in Rome too, a day after a Bulgarian delegation was granted an audience by the pope.

The Bulgarian officials, headed by parliamentary speaker Tsetska Tsacheva, will attend on May 24 the ceremony at Vatican's Basilica of San Clemente paying tribute at the grave of St Cyril, one of the missionary brothers who created the Cyrillic alphabet in the 9th century.

Then the delegation will visit the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where in 868 years Pope Adrian II blessed the church books, translated into Slavonic by the Saints Cyril and Methodius, an act that recognizes it as a liturgical language.

The officials will also attend a solemn service at the Sts Vincent and Anastasius Church on the Fontana di Trevi Roman square, which was offered in 2002 by the late Pope John-Paul II to the Bulgarian Orthodox community in Rome for their worship.

The Church of St Vincent and St Anastasius by the Trevi Fountain was formerly the parish church of the Quirinal Palace on the hill above. The palace was the official residence of the Popes until the unification of Italy in 1870.

On May 24, Bulgaria honors St Cyril and his brother St Methodius who compiled the first alphabet suitable for Slav languages in the Middle Ages. Their alphabet found the most enthusiastic followers in medieval Bulgaria and then evolved to become the Cyrillic script that is used today in Bulgaria, Russia and a number of other countries.

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Tags: Bulgarian, Bulgaria, Tsetska Tsacheva, Pope Benedict XVI, audience, saints cyril and methodius, st cyril, st methodius, Day of Slavonic Letters, May 24, Cyrillic


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