Bulgaria's President Presents Icon of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Pope Francis

Politics | May 23, 2024, Thursday // 11:28|  views

Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev and a delegation accompanying him were granted an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican. During the meeting, President Radev presented Pope Francis with an original icon of Saints Cyril and Methodius, crafted by artists from the Sofia Icon Painting School in the latter half of the 19th century.

Currently, President Radev is attending the Divine Liturgy at the "San Clemente" Basilica in Rome, where the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius first served in the Bulgarian language. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared Saints Cyril and Methodius as co-patrons of Europe. It has been a tradition for a Bulgarian government delegation to meet with the Pope on May 24th, the day commemorating the Holy Brothers.

Earlier today, President Radev, along with his wife and members of the official delegation, were warmly welcomed to the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. There, President Radev held a private meeting with Pope Francis in His Holiness's library. Additionally, he engaged in discussions with the State Secretary of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

During their visit to Rome, the Bulgarian delegation is paying tribute to the legacy of Saints Cyril and Methodius. The Divine Liturgy commenced moments ago at the Basilica of San Clemente, where Metropolitan Anthony officiated. The central altar of the church holds relics of Saint Cyril the Philosopher, and it was here that the Holy Brothers first served in the Bulgarian language after Pope Adrian II blessed the alphabet and books.

President Radev and the Bulgarian delegation will further visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, where in the 9th century, Pope Adrian II bestowed his blessing upon the Bulgarian alphabet and the books written by Saints Cyril and Methodius.

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Tags: Radev, Pope, Vatican, Bulgarian

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