Bratislava/Devin, July 5 (TASR) – The Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius is the most significant state holiday in Slovakia, as the legacy of the two 9th-century missionaries obliges all people in Slovakia to work wisely for the well-being of the nation, said Prime Minister Robert Fico at a national ceremony at Devin Castle near Bratislava on Wednesday.
Fico in his speech took a potshot at President Andrej Kiska, who didn’t attend the celebrations.“Hello! I’m calling on the top constitutional official of this country, saying that this is the most significant state holiday that Slovakia has and that we must value and honour it,” said Fico.
“We all knew what was the significance of the coming of Cyril and Methodius, and we embedded it in the Constitution Preamble,” said Fico in reference to the Constitution adopted on September 1, 1992.
“I thought that every citizen of this country knew who Cyril and Methodius were and what they mean for our nation. I was awakened from this dream today in the morning while listening to the results of a survey. Young people were asked what they know about Cyril and Methodius. There were some people who didn’t have the faintest idea about the content of the question. I want to beg you all – don’t deny our past and state holidays,” said Fico, adding that the two Byzantine brothers brought to the territory of modern-day Slovakia not only the Christian faith, but also education, putting the local people among the most advanced societies of that time.
“They helped the contemporary political elites to understand the identity of their values. Their unyielding faith in their own knowledge is also inspiring,” claimed Fico.
“We’re standing before challenges concerning what Europe will look like tomorrow, in a year or in a decade. We’re asking whether Europe is strong enough to be able to resolve its own problems. Are we able to face the risks of a multi-cultural Europe? Is Europe still alive, or is it slowly dying internally? We’re hearing claims that we’ve been weakening and that Christianity is dying under the pressure of liberalism and individualism,” said the prime minister, adding that he’s aware of the importance of partnership in ideas of Church and State in such turbulent times.
“The Church has an important role in preventing migration waves and boundless liberalism from violating the core of European integration,” said Fico.
“Uncontrolled migration doesn’t only pose security questions, but also cultural and civilisational ones. No fences will protect us if we resign on the essence of our identity. Cyril and Methodius came to teach people to live, and they gave them an identity. I believe that the current Church also has such personages who could help Slovakia and Europe to overcome a difficult period of changes. This is why I’m calling for political responsibility, as the future of our beloved Slovakia will soon be at stake,” added Fico.