On the eve of the commemoration of our First Teachers and Founders, the Slavic Enlighteners, Saints Cyril and Methodius of Thessaloniki, a suitable cultural-scientific event titled “On the Trails of Saints Cyril and Methodius” was held yesterday in Skopje, at the Cultural-Informative Center. The event, facilitated by the Macedonian and Slovak governments and represented by the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Macedonia, H.E. Mr. Henrik Markuš, was attended by the ecclesiastical and state leadership of the country: Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, Mr. Stefan, Prime Minister Mr. Zoran Zaev, Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Nikola Dimitrov, Minister of Culture Ms. Irena Stefoska, members of the Assembly, President of MANU Mr. Ljupčo Kocarev, Rector of the “Saints Cyril and Methodius” University Mr. Nikola Jankulovski, Dean of the Theological Faculty “Saint Clement of Ohrid” Mr. Đoko Gjorgjevski, Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Skopje, Mgr. Kiro Stojanov, as well as other guests from Macedonia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
As the patron of the event, Prime Minister Mr. Zoran Zaev emphasized in his speech that “all missions of Saints Cyril and Methodius were missions of unification. Their mission of integrating the Slavic with other European nations over 1150 years ago, besides the Christianization of the Slavic peoples, had a remarkably unique historical-cultural and epochal enlightening significance. On the verge of May 24, dedicated to the holy brothers as the Slavic enlighteners, their mission again demonstrates the far-reaching vision because it still gathers and unites the Slavic and other European nations.”
The exhibition of photographs “On the Trails of Saint Cyril and Methodius,” initiated by the Slovak embassy and curated by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kristina N. Nikolovska, showcased the intricate and exciting history of Cyrillic manuscripts and early printed books preserved in the National and University Library “Saints Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje. “This exhibition aims to present a less explored perspective of the preserved manuscripts and early printed books. Thanks to the notes left in the margins, indicating where and by whom the manuscript was created, from whom it was purchased, to whom it belonged, or who and where read it, we discover that books, similar to the Slavic enlighteners, traveled from one place to another, going through various adventures and leaving traces in the communities where they were used,” said Ms. Nikolovska in her speech.
The event also featured a speech by Archbishop Cyril Vasil, administrator of the eparchy in Košice, Slovakia, and the rector Mr. Jankulovski promoted the Slovak-Macedonian bibliophile edition of the “Proglas” by Saint Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher, prepared by Mr. Stojan Lekoski.
The Bigorski Monastery Choir, by invitation of the main organizers, the Slovak ambassador Mr. Henrik Markuš and Mr. Stojan Lekoski, and with the blessing of our Elder and Abbot, His Grace Bishop Partenij, added a special touch to yesterday’s event by performing several church hymns: the troparion of Christ’s Resurrection, the troparion of Saint Cyril the Philosopher, the troparion of Saints Cyril and Methodius, a sticheron dedicated to the Holy Brothers, “Let every breath praise the Lord.” A particular surprise was the recitative-choral performance of “Proglas” by Saint Cyril in Old Church Slavonic, for which a melody was composed for the first time in history, noted in neumes according to the Byzantine octoechos system, largely thanks to our brother and choir director, Hierodeacon Anatolij.
The event was concluded by His Beatitude, Archbishop Mr. Stefan, with a pastoral letter about the endeavor and significance of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Thessaloniki.