The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pretoria

česky  english 

Advanced search
Article notification Print Decrease font size Increase font size

Celebrations ot 1150th Anniversary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius

(This article expired 24.06.2014.)

In 2013 we commemorate the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia. Cyril and Methodius wrote an important chapter of the Czech history.

From the history:

Great Moravia (the Great Moravian Empire) was founded by Moravian prince Mojmír I around 830. Its center was located in the south Moravian vales (the fortified settlement of Mikulčice and Staré Město), then its territory spread in the region of Pannonia, Silesia, part of Slovakia and Bohemia. It was inhabited by the Slavs, who were engaged mainly in agriculture, lived in simple dwellings and were pagans worshipping various nature gods.

Prince Rastislav, the second ruler of Great Moravia, in the effort to ensure the greatest possible autonomy of the Great Moravian Empire, which was under the threat of the Kingdom of the East Franks, asked Byzantine emperor Michael III to send out Christian missionaries having knowledge of the language of the Slavs. Educated brothers Cyril and Methodius arrived in 863 Greek Solun (present-day Thessaloniki). They became teachers and showed the Slavs the way to wisdom, by teaching them reading and writing. They put together the first Slavonic system of writing, the Glagolitic script, and created the ecclesiastical language – Old Church Slavonic. Thanks to these advances church services began to be conducted in the Old Church Slavonic. Thus, for the first time, the Slavs could understand the words said during mass because until then, the mass were served in Latin.

In accordance with the tradition, Velehrad was a seat of Great Moravian rulers and the Archbishop Methodius.

The Great Moravian Empire succumbed to the raids of nomadic Magyars and internal disputes in the 10th century.

Today, the geographical name Morava refers to the eastern part of the Czech Republic.

On the programme of celebrations:

The Catholic celebrations will culminate from 4 to 5 July 2013, on the eve of the national holiday, the Day of the Slavonic Missionaries Cyril and Methodius, when the „Days of the People of Goodwill“ will take place at Velehrad. More information about various activities in the section Calendar of Events is available at the website

Together with partners in Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Poland, the FYROM and Greece a project of European pilgrimage is being prepared.  

Mikulčice was hosting the major celebration on the part of the Orthodox church on 24-25 May 2013. For more information see (in Czech only).