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Wednesday, May 21, 2003


VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2003 (VIS) - On May 24, the liturgical use of the church of Sts. Vincent and Anastasius, near the Trevi Fountain in Rome, will be inaugurated, as the Pope offered last year during his apostolic trip to Bulgaria to His Beatitude Maxim, patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, for the Orthodox community in the capital.

In a communique made public today the date of May 24, the feast day of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Bulgaria, is confirmed for the inauguration. This date was chosen because of the devotion of the Bulgarian Orthodox community in Rome to these two Slavic saints and in order to commemorate the first anniversary of the Holy Father's visit to Bulgaria in May of 2002.

The delegation of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, composed of nine members, will visit Rome from May 22 to 27. Their visit will coincide with the official visit to the Italian government by Simeon Saxe Coburg-Gotha, prime minister of Bulgaria. The Bulgarian prime minister is scheduled to attend the inaugural celebration on May 24 as are representatives from the diplomatic corps to the Holy See and members of the Roman Curia.

A mobile iconostasis, which permits the Eastern liturgy to be celebrated, has been installed in the Church. Construction has also been done in order to facilitate the development of catechesis activities for the Bulgarian Orthodox faithful. All of this, the communique concludes, has been possible thanks to a donation by the Holy Father and to a benefactor's contribution.


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