Proglas 3

17 P R O G L A S The same words could be heard from Peter’s successor in Nitra, where the first Christian temple was founded in 828 and first dioceses in 880. ”Dear friends, contemplate the priceless value of God’s gift. Since the times of St Cyril and Methodius it has been cherished by generations of your forefathers. Accept it in freedom that recognises responsibilities and cultivate it further.“ Pope John Paul II made in Apostolic letter of 31st December 1980 SS Cyril and Methodius co-patrons of Europe-together with St. Benedict. Since that time Constantine the Philosopher has been rediscovered and is more vividly remembered in Christian Europe and other countries. While some historians may have doubts about who was the real author of ”Proglas“, many take it for certain that Constantine was the spiritual father of this poem that reflects his spirit, his heart, his education, his poetic talents, his apostolic zeal, and his figurative language. The figures of speech and images of ”Proglas“ are the same as were used during the mission in the land of the Khazars, his disputes in Venice and are remind us of his typical phrases, such as ”to write on water“ etc. Through his ”Proglas“ Constantine is alive, here in Slovakia, in Europe and in the whole world. Even today, his words have lost nothing of their power. Christ comes to gather the nations, ... he has been gathering them for centuries even though people, his own people stood in his way. He wants to gather the nations in love and understanding, even if we still most of the time stand in his way. So we live in hope and we live in misery, we live in misery and we live in hope. The words of ”Proglas“ that describe the soul that is dead without books find a special echo in Slovakia, where we experienced a great persecution of Christ’s followers. Jails, gulags and, before that, gas chambers-souls without the law of God were not only dead, but were wretched as well. How many dead souls are in the world and in Europe today? This is a thought that makes one shudder ... Christ is left on Golgotha. He, the Way, the Truth, the Life is exiled far from Bethlehem. What animosity some people show him ... One of our poets said: trees and Walls everywhere are trembling with horror. It is as if Herod had come to life again ... who will gather the nations if not Christ, the Truth and the Life? What will happen to us if we expel Him? Another poet cried out: ”O Lord, do not depart from Europe!“ Slovakia might be unique among the nations of Europe and the world for it carries in its state insignia the cross and the Preamble to the Constitution refers to the truths of Christianity, to traditions of SS Cyril and Methodius and to values of life. Now that we have achieved liberty in the Slovak republic, we often stand looking around and ask, what we are to do, whom we should follow and trust. Is that necessary? We have everything we need for a healthy development of our nation. It is only through our work and our common efforts that we can go forward. Our nation has in the span of a thousand years build a manifold and flourishing culture. It grew from the lives of our fathers and

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