Proglas 3

13 P R O G L A S After SS Cyril and Methodius had finished their translation of the New Testament, especially of the Gospels, it was probably St Cyril, then called Constantine the Philosopher, who then introduced this spiritual masterpiece in a very special way-with the so-called “Proglas”. It is a “Foreword to the Holy Scriptures”– a wonderful poem, a literary jewel that stands at the very beginning of our culture. ...“for as it was promised by the prophets Christ comes to gather the nations for He is the Light of this world... ...Verily I say unto you, Slovienes this gift is indeed a gift from God ... a gift to souls, a gift that never perishes a gift to all the souls that accept it. ...Matthew and Mark, Luke and John teach all the nations saying: ... Hear! Listen to the voice of your reason hear you, the whole Slovien nation hear the Word, sent by the Lord Word that feeds hungry human souls...“ The arrival of Constantine and Methodius in Great Moravia must have been a true spiritual revolution. They came to Nitra and to Devín with books translated in our language, they gathered the best of our youth at their academy and gave them education in philosophy, mathematics and music. They taught them how to study the Bible and how to understand its mysteries – all in a language they understood. And at the end, they celebrated the “service-mass” in Old Slavonic, together! The script they brought became the basis of Slovak and other Slavonic cultures. It was a treasure more precious then gold and silver. This script made a reality the hope that the Emperor Michael III expressed in a letter to Prince Rastislav, in which he spoke of “a new script for your language ... so that you too are counted among the great nations”. The words from the Scriptures and liturgical books became in the Old Slavonic a living and functional language of literature. SS Cyril and Methodius achieved a success that was unheard of – Old Slavonic became the fourth liturgical language just like Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. Later it also became the language of a flourishing literature. In “The Life of Methodius” we read what happened in Rome in 867 after Pope Hadrian II received the Holy Brothers together with their disciples: ”Hadrian blessed their teachings, put the Gospels in Slavonic at the altar of St Peter the Apostle. ’In‘ The Life of Constantine“ it is said: ”The Pope accepted Slavonic books, blessed them, laid them in the church ... and holy liturgy was sung upon them. Then he ordered the Slovien disciples to be ordained. And after they were ordained they sang the liturgy in the Church of St Peter the Apostle in Slavonic ...and they sang praises the whole night long ...“