The Head of State: The Traditional Papal Audience for the 24th of May Is a Symbol of Bulgaria’s Role in the Global Cultural Space
Pope Francis shared his message of health, prosperity and enlightenment to the Bulgarian people during his meeting with President Radev in the Vatican
His Eminence Pope Francis shared a message of health, prosperity and enlightenment to the Bulgarian people, stated President Rumen Radev before journalists following his Papal Audience in the Vatican. This is the third meeting in the Vatican between the Bulgarian Head of State and the Leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Today, the President also held a meeting with the Secretary of State of the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
The Head of State revealed that the visit to the Vatican was held in a warm and hospitable atmosphere. “The Pope wishes our churches to be brought even closer together; we have more than a thousand years of history in our relations, starting all the way back in the era of Boris I during the Baptism of the Bulgarians in the 9th century,” Mr. Rumen Radev declared. The Head of State said that the tradition established over the past decades of a Papal Audience in the Vatican for a high-level Bulgarian Delegation is an important symbol of recognition not only of the work of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, but also of the role of Bulgaria in the global cultural space in the modern world of today.
The President stated that Pope Francis was active on all contemporary issues and during the meeting, the two discussed “the modern scourge on statehood – corruption, not only in state leadership, but also in the church.” “Pope Francis said today that ‘the Devil works in a person through their pocket’,” shared Mr. Rumen Radev.
The Bulgarian President offered Pope Francis a piece of art made by the Bulgarian historian Rumen Manov. It unites made in Bulgaria Bulgarian icons and symbols with Catholic symbols laid on nacre.
In the Vatican Apostolic Archive, the President examined fragments of the tract On the Antiquity of the Fatherland and Bulgarian Things, discovered a few years ago, written by the Archbishop Peter Bogdan Baksic who was born in Chiprovtsi.
Peter Bogdan’s work is extremely important for our realisation as Bulgarians and as a nation, and for the beginning of our revival, said the President, and gave a reminder that the manuscript was written before Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya by Saint Paisius. “This work is about the antiquity of our motherland and about Bulgarian deeds, it is an extremely strong message of freedom, honour, dignity, of values, of realisation, of the identity of a people,” Mr. Rumen Radev declared.
The manuscript is stored in the library in Modena and the Presidency has undertaken the initiative to have it exhibited in Bulgaria for a month, announced Mr. Rumen Radev. “The Pope and the Secretary of State of Vatican Cardinal Pietro Parolin promised their support in helping this happen,” stated Mr. Rumen Radev.
Today, President Radev was also present at a liturgy in the Basilica di San Clemente, where the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius first served in Slavonic, following the blessing of the alphabet and books by the Roman Bishop Pope Adrian II. The Liturgy was served by Metropolitan Anthony. The President declared it a great honour for Bulgaria that for the first time today a liturgy was served by a Bulgarian archbishop in the Basilica where our Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius served. “With the support of the Pope and the Secretary of State of the Vatican, the Catholic Church is increasingly opening for our Eastern Orthodox Services not only here, but all over Europe,” stated Mr. Rumen Radev. He described this as significant support for the unity of our communities worldwide.
The Head of State paid homage to the holy remains and the grave of Saint Cyril in the Basilica di San Clemente. Today, the President also laid a wreath before the monument of Ivan Vazov and the monument of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the yard of the Bulgarian Embassy in the Italian capital.