The translation of Proglas into modern Slovak was created by the excellent translator and poet W. Turčány. Apart from his own works of poetry and many scientific studies Turčány enriched Slovak culture by his outstanding translation of Dante’s magnificent masterpiece ”Divine Comedy“. This work of art also was and is a fruit of the faith in the Word, a fruit of the Gospels. Now we can enjoy his translation of ”Proglas“.
from the letter of Ján Chryzostom Cardinal Korec Nitra, 16th May 1996
To the holy Gospels I am the Foreword
for as it was promised by the prophets
Christ comes to gather the nations
for he sheds light on the world entire.
That is what happened in our seventh millennium
As the promise was unto the blind to see
and unto the deaf to hear the Word of the Gospels
for man needs to know God.
Verily I say unto you, Slovienes
this precious gift of God and his love is yours
The gift from God, the gift of a right part
is a gift to your souls that never perishes
a gift to all the souls that accept it with gratitude.
Matthew and Mark, Luke and John
teach all the nations saying:
All you striving to make your souls beautiful
all you, who long to rejoice in your hearts
all you, longing to abandon the darkness of sins
and cleanse yourselves from the corruption of this world,
discover life in Paradise again
And escape the flames of fire,
Hear! Listen to the voice of your reason,
Hear you, the whole Slovien nation,
Hear the Word, sent by the Lord
the Word that feeds hungry human souls,
The Word that gives power to your mind and heart,
the Word that will prepare you to accept the Lord.
As there can be no joy without light
that shines so we can see the world entire
For not everything is clear or beautiful
So no soul, no soul without letters
knows the law of God,
the law of the book, the law of the spirit,
the law through which we are led to God’s Paradise.
For how can an ear that does not hear the roar of thunder
Stand in fear in front of God?
For how can a sense that does not perceive the smell of flowers
understand the Divine Miracle?
For the mouth that does not feel sweetness
turns a man into a stone.
More dead than a man from stone is a soul,
every soul without letters.
Brethren we have contemplated this all.
We now give you impeccable advice
that will free all, all of you
From a beastly life and a sinful existence
so that when your reason, your unreasonable reason
hears the Word in a foreign tongue
you will not hear the sound of the bell only, the bell made of copper.
For St Paul our teacher said,
After he brought his plea to the Lord:
I would rather speak just five words
five words from my simple understanding
that my brethren would understand
than speak thousands of them incomprehensible.
For how could a man who himself does not understand,
unable to add a wise parable,
find the right words?
For as decay looms over the body
all-destroying and more putrid than pus,
When the body is ill-nourished
likewise withers every soul,
when it lives not the way of God,
when it hears not the Word of God.
Let us add another wise parable:
We who live in mutual love and concord
and now long to grow in God’s way
who could ignore this truth so simple:
As the seed that fell into the soil
so every human heart on earth
Needs the rain of God’s letters
so that God’s fruit will grow to its fullest.
Who could count all the fables
that rebuke a nation without books,
that prove that its voice is not to be understood?
Even if this man knew all the tongues
he could not spell out their infinite helplessness.
Yet hear my parable,
much meaning in few words expressed:
Naked are nations without books
They cannot fight without a weapon
against the enemy, who destroys our souls
doomed to fall prey to eternal damnation.
You, who do not love this enemy,
the nations who long to fight him
Open the gates of your minds,
carefully accept these weapons
beautifully constructed in the books of the Lord
that harshly bruise the head of the devil.
For to the one who will accept these letters
Christ himself will reveal his wisdom.
Your souls, too, he will strengthen with letters
and through the prophets and the apostles.
For those who will use their words
will be able to destroy the enemy,
They will bring good victory to their Lord,
escape the doom and decay of their bodies,
bodies that live in sin as in a dream.
They will not fall, they will stand strong
and valiant in front of the Lord,
They will stand on the right hand of God
when he comes to judge the nations with fire.
Forever they will join the angels in their joy
celebrating God all merciful forever
with songs from these books.
They will celebrate their God who has mercy on the people
to whom all glory is given.
Honour and praise, Son of God,
united with your Father and the Holy Spirit in one Trinity
from all beings for ever and ever