Posts Tagged ‘cyril and methodius’

24th May Day of Slavonic Writting and Culture

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

st. Cyril and Methodius Zahari Zograf painted icon from Trojan Monastery from the year 1848

On 24-th of May as an old tradition we in Bulgaria celebrate the Day of Slavonic/Slavic Writting and Culture.

It’s quite of feast, the streets are full of people and everybody wents out to celebrate or have a walk as the whole day atmosphere is extremely cheerful.
Until some years during communism on 24th of may was also a Church feast day of st. Cyril and Methodius, however since some years the Bulgarian Orthodox Church decided to commemorate the two saints on a different date.

However the secular educational tradition of remembering the two saints memory on today’s date next to considering the holiday as the official feast of triumph of educational enlightenment and science is still alive in the primary and secondary schools.
24th of May is also considered as the official day of Bulgarian and Slavonic Writting and Culture.
The two saints Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius are considered to be patron saints protector of all Schools, universities and educational institutions in Bulgaria.
On this date it’s common that a bit of secular icon images of the two saints to be holded in a public schools manifestation, where specially dressed pupils play music with trombones and drums and all teachers and students does a manifestation lined in a column in the streets (this tradition is a hermitage from communistic times as manifestation on major celebrations were a common thing during the communism years, when Bulgaria was part of the USSR).

24th of May public school pupil Manifestation

24th of May is considered maybe the brightest public feast in Bulgaria, even the secular atheist and unbelievers connect the day of 24th May celebrations with St. St. Cyril and Methodius who historically are the founders/inventors of the Slavonic writting letter and thus highly respected among all Orthodox Christian slavonic nations and as far as I know even are being known and venerated in some countries in the Roman Catholic western world (I’ll be glad to hear if some western people who are subscribed to my blog, give some reports if they know the two patron saints of Slavonic Culture.

Many cities in Bulgaria has an official local city feast on 24th of May. Dobrich my home city also marks off it’s public holiday on 24th of May.

Many small and middle sized villages also does celebrate heavily on this date, as the so called (people gatherings / (sbor as we call them in Bulgaria)) are occuring on this date.
On this assemblies, where people goes out to buy stuff, we have a lot of gipsies who sell a various hand-made food as well some gipsies home-made children toys 🙂

It’s very pity I have no picture to show you what kind of bulk stuff the gipsies are selling via an improvised made kiosks especially for the fesat.
The gipsies sales all kind of weird food especially for the holiday like, (pink ice-cream, all colors sugar-cotton and pink cream, pink sugar sticks (shiker as we call it) and a tons of other weird foods you cannot see anywhere else)).
I’m quite convinced that every foreigner will truly enjoy this feast of ours and I recommend, if you’re about to come to Bulgaria to try to be in our country on this feast, it’s truly wild and natural as it is and always was in the bolkans ! 🙂
It’s also traditional on this date of triumph of culture that many cultural events around the country occurs, as well as the traditional folklore performers and dancers perform on the cities centres.

24 May Horo Folklore Dance on a City centre
Horo (Bulgarian Traditional Folklore Dance on a city centre)

To generalize 24-th of May is our greatest and brightest holidays here in Bulgaria, there is some kind of established believe that on this date the weather is always nice. This year this national believe come true, as we have a wonderful sunny day here in Bulgaria :).

The Church feast of St. Tsar (King) Boris Mihail (Michael) I – Baptizer of Bulgaria – 2nd of May a Triumph for Bulgarian Autocephalous Church and Church Slavonic

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

saint Tsar Boris the baptizer of all Bulgaria

Today on Second of May every year in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church calendar we commemorate the memory of Saint King Boris (Michael) who is a baptizer of Bulgarian nation and among the greatest saint of Bulgaria, perhaps second in saintship after St. John of Rila.

St. King Boris was the ruler of the First bulgarian Empire (852-889) the actual title as we know it from the chronicles is not king but archont which literally means ruler, but as the main chronicles who came to us are Byzantine we have to take in consideration that Byzantine Chronicles aimed to discredit the Bulgarian rulers because of feeling inferior every non-Byzantines who in Byzantine terms were considered barbarians.

He had a notable correspondence with Pope Nicolas II head of the Western Church before the Great Schism.
Saint Boris I is famous with with 115 Questions (which are fully preserved). He  beseech the pope to sent an apostoles of faith who will teach the new nation to faith in the same time he lead a correspondence with the Byzantine emperor and the Eastern Church.

The pope sent 2 missionaries cardinal Formiosa of Portuens and Bishop Paul of Papulon. King Boris requested for Cardinal Formiosa to become a future archibishop of Bulgaria, but the pope Nicolas II being afraid of loosing ground of a choice of future Bulgarian archibishop rejected king Boris request it is interesting fact that the same cardinal Formiosa become the next Pope of the Roman Western Church in period (891 – 896).

Taking in consideration the papal's desire to dominate over him and the more freedoms given by the Byzantine Church along with the fact that Saint Cyril and Methodius's pupils came to him with a ready Church Slavonic Glagolic version of the Holy Bible and a new Church language (and considering the fact that the seven pupils of St. Cyril and Methodius were being chased away from Great Moravia (Saint Clement of Ohrid (Kliment Ohridski) and Naum Ohrdiski with Sava, Angelarius and Gorazd) and seeing the fallacy of the filioque addition to the Creed of Faith finally King Boris received baptism by the hands of Patriarch Photius.

He received holy baptismal in year 864, receiving the Christian name Michael (Mihail) receiving his Christian name from his godfather, Emperor Michael III.

According to Church tradition the reason to Baptize in Christian faith was his amazement of an icon of the Judgement Day he saw in one of his visits to Constantinople.

The Church tradition also says saint Boris I's sister have lived for a long time in Constantinople, where she received baptism and once returning to the Bulgaria she bring the light of faith here too.

Besides that some of his family has already earlier converted to Christianity and some earlier Bulgarian Khans such as Trivelius (Tervel) who is considered to saved Europe from Muslim Invasion earlier were already Christians.

King_Boris I bapttish of Byzantine Emperor Michael III

During his holy reign he has established mass Christianization of Bulgaria, where the traditional ancient pagan traditions and belief in fake gods like Tangra were abolished completely.

St. Tsar Boris has secured the Bulgarian Church an autocephalousy, he also received the saints Cyril and Methodius, when they were banished from Great Moravia.

Our saint king has secured a refuge for st. Cyril and Methodius and provided them with assistance to develop the Slavonic alphabet and literature.

After he abdicated in 889, his eldest son and successor tried to restore the old pagan religion but was deposed by Boris I. During the Council of Preslav which followed that event, the Byzantine clergy was replaced with Bulgarian and the Greek language was replaced with Old Bulgarian as an official language of the Church and the state.

Bulgaria_under_rule_of_Boris_I-st-the-baptizer-king-of-Bulgaria

In 889 Boris abdicated the throne and became a monk. His son and successor Vladimir attempted a pagan reaction (to return the Bulgarians to the old belief in Tanra), which brought Boris out of his monastic life in 893 out of zeal for Christ and a fatherhood for the future of Bulgarian nation.

Vladimir was defeated and blinded by a miracle of God as Boris had less soldiers than his pagan son but in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ he showed victorious.

Once defeating his unbelieving son, Boris gathered the Council of Preslav in which the Old Greek language in Church was replaced with Church Slavonic and most imporantly on the council King Boris on the Church assembly placed his third son, Simeon I of Bulgaria on the throne, threatening him with the same fate if he too apostatized.

Simeon I was reluctant to become a secular ruler as according to some of the written sources he was preparing to become a great spiritual leader a monk and perhaps a next archibishop or even patriarch in the newly established autocephalous Bulgarian Church but following the monk rule of humility he decided and accepted the throne but throughout his life he kept his great zeal for monasticism and enlightenment. His ruling become a golden age for the Church Slavonic he financed seriously and worked hardly to prepare educated monks and to translate a major works of the Holy Fathers such as Shestodnev (The Six Days of Creation), Simeonov Sbornik (Simeon's Collection) and many of the key works of saint Athanasius the Great, Saint Basyl the Great, Saint John of Damascus etc.

According to some historians it was King Simeon who later give birth to the second by size Monastic Community in Byzantine Emperire the Stone Monasteries of (Meteora).

Boris returned to his monastery, emerging once again in c. 895 to help Simeon fight the Magyars, who had invaded Bulgaria in alliance with the Byzantines. After the passing of this crisis, Boris resumed monastic life and led a holy life until he pass out in year 907.

Here is the daily troparion assigned by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church sang at the churches today (the text is translation from Bulgarian):

St. Boris-Michael, prince of Bulgaria, Troparion

Full of the fear of God, and enlightened by holy baptism, thou becamest a habitation of the Holy Spirit,
O right-believing King Boris; and having established the Orthodox Faith in the land of Bulgaria,
and set aside the scepter of kingship,
thou madest thine abode in the wil derness,
didst flourish in ascetic struggles, and found grace before the Lord.
And now, standing before the throne of the Most High, pray thou, that He grant unto us who entreat thee salva tion for our souls.