Pope Francis Blesses Bulgarians on Slavic Script Day
Pope Francis welcomed on Friday an official Bulgarian delegation led by Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Marin Raykov on the occasion of May 24, the Day of the Slavic Script and Bulgarian Culture.
Pope Francis congratulated warmly Bulgarians on their national day of Culture and Slavic Script, while Raykov presented the Pope with a copy of the precious Bulgarian Cherepish Gospel (XVI century).
The Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister also met with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
The Bulgarian officials also attended the ceremony at Vatican's Basilica of San Clemente paying tribute at the grave of St Cyril, one of the missionary brothers who created the Cyrillic alphabet in the 9th century.
Then the delegation visited the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where in 868 years Pope Adrian II blessed the church books, translated into Slavonic by the Saints Cyril and Methodius, an act that recognizes it as a liturgical language.
Bulgaria celebrates May 24 as the day of the Bulgarian Education and Culture and Slavic Script, the official Day of Holy Brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius - the Byzantine scholars who wrote the first Slavic alphabet in 855 A.D., and translated into Old Bulgarian the Bible and the religious literature of Orthodox Christianity.
Their alphabet found the most enthusiastic followers in medieval Bulgaria and then evolved to become the Cyrillic script that is used today in Bulgaria, Russia and a number of other countries.