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Monday, May 23, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 23 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican the Pope received in separate audiences first the president of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, and then the Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, Tsetska Tsacheva, both accompanied by their respective delegations, on the occasion of the annual commemoration of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

  In his address to the delegation from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Holy Father emphasized that the lives of Sts. Cyril and Methodius "were totally dedicated to their apostolic activity and to the divine intuition of making the message of Revelation understandable and accessible to the peoples, which was a reason of unity for different traditions and cultures. In embracing God's salvific plan, peoples can rediscover the foundations upon which to build civilizations and societies that are characterized by a spirit of reconciliation and peaceful living together. There cannot be true unity without respect for the dignity of each person and their inalienable rights".

  In the later audience with the delegation from the Republic of Bulgaria, the Pope said that "for the European peoples, who in these years are opening themselves to new perspectives of cooperation, these two great saints are a reminder that their unity will be more solid if based on common Christian roots. Effectively, in the complex history of Europe, Christianity represents a central and qualifying element. The Christian faith has shaped the culture of the old continent and is indissolubly interwoven with its history, to the point that this history would not be understandable without reference to the events that characterized, first, the great era of evangelization and, then, the long centuries in which Christianity took on an ever more relevant role. That is why it is important that Europe also grown in a spiritual dimension, following the path of its best history. The unity of the continent, which progressively grows in awareness and is also being defined in its political aspects, represents a perspective of great hope".
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