Visit of President Rumen Radev to Rome and the Vatican
The Head of State Rumen Radev is visiting the Vatican and the Italian Republic. The President is leading the Bulgarian delegation, which is traditionally welcomed for a Papal Audience by the Leader of the Catholic Church on the occasion of the Day of Saints Cyril and Methodius, of the Bulgarian Alphabet, Enlightenment and Culture and Slavic Literature – the 24th of May. During his visit, the Head of State visited places holy for all Bulgarians.
This year a delegation of the Republic of Macedonia, led by President Stevo Pendarovski accompanied the Bulgarian delegation to pay homage to the work of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Rome.
In Rome, the Head of State Rumen Radev paid homage before the monument of the legendary Bulgarian voivode and revolutionary Captain Petko Voyvoda. Later that day, the President participated in the official opening of the Bulgaria Gallery to the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in the Italian capital. Presidents Rumen Radev and Stevo Pendarovski were present at the European Commission’s Representation to Rome for the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) and the Media Information Agency (MIA) of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The Head of State Rumen Radev and the Bulgarian delegation were welcomed for a Papal Audience with His Holiness Pope Francis. The President held a meeting with the Secretary of State of the Vatican Cardinal Pietro Parolin. President Radev examined fragments of the recently discovered tract by Archbishop Peter Bogdan Baksic, On the Antiquity of the Fatherland and Bulgarian Things, in the Vatican Apostolic Archive.
The Head of State was also present at a liturgy in the Basilica di San Clemente, where the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius first served in Bulgarian following the blessing of the alphabet and books by the Roman Bishop Pope Adrian II. The grave of Saint Cyril is located in the Basilica. The Liturgy was served by Metropolitan Anthony. President Radev and the President of the Republic of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski, accompanied by their wives, visited the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, where in the 9th century, Pope Adrian II blessed the Bulgarian alphabet.
In Rome, the Bulgarian Head of State paid homage 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. Mr. Rumen Radev also visited the San Paolo alla Regola Church, provided to the Bulgarian community for service.
President Rumen Radev held a meeting with his Italian counterpart Mr. Sergio Mattarella.
The Bulgarian delegation for the visits to Rome and the Vatican includes the Minister of Culture Velislav Minekov, public figures, representatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, as well as the Catholic Church in Bulgaria. The Head of State is also accompanied by his wife Desislava Radeva.
The delegation led by the President of the Republic of North Macedonia includes the Minister of Culture Irena Stefovska, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani.