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Rome Reports

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Roman Basilica holds exhibit on one thousand years of Roman Rite in Slavonic language

In the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the Croatian embassy to the Holy See has opened up a new exhibition on the Croatian liturgical tradition. It is called 'To God, in our own language.'

Unbeknownst to many, in the year 869 Pope Adrian II permitted the Croatian Church to conduct the Roman Rite Liturgy in their own language. 

Ambassador, Republic of Croatia to Holy See

“We could use our language, Old Church Slavonic in Croatian variant language as liturgical language.”

Before Second Vatican Council, Croatian's were the only ones allowed to celebrate the Roman liturgy in their own Old Church Slavonic and Glagolitic language. In the past the general rule for Roman Rite was it could only be celebrated in Latin. 

Director of Institute Paleoslavo says it was St. Cyril's great ability of persuasion that managed to convince the pope to make this exception for the Slavs. 

Director of Institute Paleoslavo (Croatia)

“St. Cyril was an extremely wise man. He was known as a philosopher. He knew how to argue his points in a manner that the pope would say yes. The pope had no arguments to not allow it; and if he allowed it he had Slavs with him.”

It is not by chance the exhibition is being held in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. It is here that SS. Cyril and Methodius presented and celebrated Holy Mass in the 'Old Church Slavonic' in 868. 

During the opening of the exhibition, this beautiful song was sung from Croatian tradition. In English it is called the 'Blessing of the people.'

The embassy has also placed this marble plaque in Glagolitic and Italian to commemorate the celebration of Croatian liturgical history.    

They hope to continue to praise God through their own language and will be holding a Mass in the Basilica to celebrate.