Vatican City, Feb 15, 2004 / 22:00 pm
On two different occasions on Saturday and Sunday, Pope John Paul insisted in the need for preserving Europe’s Christian roots in the midst of current tendencies to ignore them.
On Saturday, the Pontiff welcomed 2,000 Slovaks, accompanied by Cardinals Jan Korec and Jozef Tomko and by the President of Slovakia Rudolf Schuster, on the feast of Cyril and Methodius, the Slav brothers and saints who are patrons of Slovakia and co-patrons of Europe.
“The witness of these two great apostles of the Slavs is a strong reminder to rediscover the roots of the European identity of your people, roots that you share with other nations on the continent,” said the Pope.
“Slovakia and Europe of the Third Millennium,” he underscored, “have become enriched by many cultural contributions but it would be deleterious to forget that Christianity contributed in a decisive manner to the formation of the continent.”