By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Friday wished that the evangelizing mission of Sts. Cyril and
“As representatives of the people in the institutions, you are called to rediscover the intrinsic link between the Gospel and your cultural identity, re-evaluating your Christian roots in order to build a society in which mutual acceptance and mutual solidarity can take place,” the Pope told a delegation of parliamentarians from the Czech and the Slovak Republics who met him in the Vatican on the occasion of the 1150th death anniversary of St. Cyril.
Known as the Apostles of the Slavs, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the
The Holy Father recalled that the two Thessalonian brothers translated the Bible into the old Slavic language, brought the so-called Slavic alphabet and through the biblical-Christian message helped create a legal state in and around the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Pope noted that St. Cyril was able to “build relationships of knowledge and cordiality among peoples, becoming a link between different cultures and ecclesial traditions.”
Model of inculturation
“The vast work of evangelization, carried out with apostolic zeal by Saint Cyril and his holy brother in your lands, is a model of inculturation still valid in its essential elements,” the Pope said. Rather than weakening what is authentic in different local cultures, the Pope said, the Gospel “helps individuals and communities to recognize and realize the good, the truth and the beauty.”
He said St. Cyril was able to build relationships of knowledge and cordiality among peoples, becoming a link between different cultures and ecclesial traditions.
The Pope hoped that the “significant spiritual and cultural heritage” of Sts. Cyril and
He said, “It is a matter of knowing how to live together in diversity, through dialogue, sharing, building bridges and breaking down the barriers of distrust and prejudice.”
“With these attitudes,” he said, “we become witnesses of solidarity and builders of peace.”
The Holy Father wished that through their important public function, the Czech and Slovak parliamentarians become “protagonists of fraternity, clear and irreproachable promoters of the common good,” in order to offer hope to those who elected them.