1150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOGNITION OF THE SLAVONIC LITURGICAL LANGUAGE

1150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOGNITION OF THE SLAVONIC LITURGICAL LANGUAGE  

In a joint issue with the Slovak Republic, Vatican City celebrates the 1150th Anniversary of old Slavonic, the fourth liturgical language alongside Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The postage stamp sheet produced for the occasion is from an engraving by František Horniak based on a design by artist Dušan Kállay. The artwork features the time when Saints Cyril and Methodius reached Rome and were received by Pope Adrian II with the relics of Saint Clement and the texts of the four Gospels translated into old Slavonic. The depiction is inspired by mosaics in the apse of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome and the Codex Zographensis (found at the Zograf Monastery on Mount Athos), a treasure of tenth century Slavic literature consisting of a translation of the four Gospels into old Slavonic. The text featured on the postage stamp shows the first four verses of the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths”. John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.