Nitra, July 5 (TASR) – Thousands of people attended a national pilgrimage in honour of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Nitra on Friday, a public holiday in Slovakia, with military bishop Frantisek Rabek, who conducted the Mass on Svatopluk Square, highlighting the 1,150th anniversaries of St. Cyril’s death and St. Methodius’s installation as archbishop of Pannonia and Great Moravia this year.
Rabek in his sermon described the Cyrilo-Methodian heritage as the “backbone of the nation”, with the former always helping the latter to face any hardship with “sincere faith in Jesus Christ”.
The bishop further denounced what he called “spiritual and moral epidemics” that have been “spreading like viruses, promising welfare and pleasure to people, making them believe that everything is allowed in the name of these beautiful ideals”. As examples, he pointed to Nazism and Communism, but also to current “viruses wrapped in a sweet package of half-truth … while it’s typical for them to be linked to aversion to faith in God”. In current times, these “viruses” work via the killing of the unborn and climate change, which is a result of people’s rapacity, added the military bishop.
Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS), who attended the pilgrimage, stated that the two 9th-century clerics from Thessaloniki weren’t merely missionaries, but also played a part in the building of statehood. He noted that “the country had already been baptised” before their arrival in 863, but their role was partly to “arrange church affairs to comply with the demands of the-then rulers as sovereigns in their state”.