Moscow, May 24, 2011
The Day of Slavic Writing, celebrated on May 24, is associated with the memory of St. Cyril and Methodius, who created the Slavic alphabet and translated the Gospels into Old Slavonic. The holiday was celebrated in Russia on an official level from the middle of the 19th century until the 1917 revolution. The Day of Slavic Writing has been celebrated in contemporary Russia for over 20 years.
In his address to the people present at the celebration, the Patriarch called on the Russian people to hold on to their Orthodox roots.
He recalled that St. Cyril and Methodius "created the root system of our nation." Unlike other missionaries, who spoke Greek and even Latin, "they realized that God's words should be preached to people in their language" and created the alphabet and translated the Gospels into Slavonic.
The Patriarch called on young people to stop thinking of the past as "something boring and non-modern" and remember that "there is no future without the past, which lives in the present."
An unprecedented exhibit entitled Holy Rus will open during the celebrations in the Tretyakov Gallery. Last year, the exhibit was held in Paris during the celebrations of the Year of Russian Culture. The exhibit comprises the best displays from 27 Russian museums.
The celebrations will end in a concert in the State Kremlin Palace.