I guided the bishops in Prague
Ecumenicity or better an experiment supporting understanding between different Christian denominations and rites gains on importance. And in terms of this movement a session of forty-three bishops, of eighteen different denominations, eighteen different countries and four continents took place in Prague under the auspices of cardinal Vlk. The basic idea was not to solve important theological problems; the aim of this social meeting was just to get a better understanding, acquaintance, to exchange ideas, to spend a merry time together. I personally don’t know where the idea came from but the Movement Focolare, which made the organization stuff, asked me to guide the English-speaking bishops through Prague. I felt very honored and I was eager to fulfill this task.
The day was superb; the sky blue, St. Peter simply supported this event. A small bus was at our disposal and off we went. The first stop was made at the Strahov Monastery. It is a huge, noble, historic complex – no wonder, the Praemonstrates have been living here for nearly one-tousand years. They greeted us heartily. After the festive greeting, a visit of the church of St. Mary followed without delay. This basilica was built in the most beautiful baroque style and the monks kept it in a perfect condition. To be frank, we natives we don’t see the splendor of our churches so much any more, but foreigners, from overseas especially, they stay breathless when seeing it. The monastery gallery, a wonderful collection of paintings and statues, came as the next point of interest, followed by the visit of both historic libraries – the Theological and Philosophic halls. No words were necessary; they stood there in pure admiration.
>From Strahov we went to the famous Charles Bridge. I am always happy when visiting this wonderful place. Everything of importance can be found here – history, architecture, arts, legends, and witnesses of the past... And we were so lucky that day – the bright golden sun shone and warmed us, music bands were playing, the bridge was full of tourists, the river whispered its everlasting song, and the view offered the most beautiful sights of Prague – the magnificent panorama of the Hradčany Castle, the National Theatre, the Vltava River, the Petřín Hill, the islands...
My bishops were enchanted and they showed their emotions. And I? – I was proud as if it were me who was the owner of this entire splendor. I felt a very small part of all the history, which went through this wonderful town and left it’s footprints here. It was very nice an event.Marcela Šafaříková,
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