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The 1150th Anniversary of the Arrival of St Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia – Joint stamp issue by Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Vatican City

The 1150th Anniversary of the Arrival of St Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia – Joint stamp issue by Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Vatican City
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With the Year of Saint Cyril and Methodius, announced by the Slovak Bishop Conference's council, the post offices of Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Vatican jointly commemorate the very origins of independent Slavic literature, necessary for the codification of the Old Church Slavonic liturgy that both missionaries succeeded in pressing in Rome by establishing an independent Moravia-Pannonia ecclesiastical province. This anniversary year gives suitable opportunity to present both Byzantine missionaries on the grounds of oldest known depictions located at the last resting places of Saint Constantine the Philosopher in San Clement Basilica in Rome.

One of the greatest sights of the lower basilica is the fresco "Personal judgment of Saint Cyril" from the 9th century, which became the theme of the postage stamp. Saints Cyril and Methodius kneel before Christ Pantocrator, whereas Archangel Michael is standing together with Saint Andrew behind Saint Cyril (on the left) and Archangel Gabriel is standing together with Saint Clement behind Saint Methodius (on the right). We know as a fact that it is a depiction of saints Cyril and Methodius on the basis of the inscription that could be read when the fresco was discovered in the 19th century: "God, grant eternal rest to sinful Cyril. Amen. "Another from the lower basilica's frescos, named "Transfer of Saint Clement's remains" from the 11th century is presented in the lower part of the sheet. The fresco shows events after the arrival of both brothers in Rome in 867 where they were invited to by the Pope Nicolas I, where he found out that they were carrying with themselves remains of Saint Clement the Pope. The sheet is finally decorated with the glagolitic alphabet, adapted from a page from the Codex Assemanius from the end of the 10th century, now located in the Vatican Library in Rome.

The motif of FDC imprint is another fresco of San Clement Basilica in Rome, named "Christ's descend into limbo" from the 9th century with half of the figure of a monk with a book in his hand. It is assumed that it is Saint Cyril's portrait made by a Byzantine painter, because the exposure of the fresco is identical with the report from the Life of Constantine that he was buried "on the right side of the altar in Saint Clement Temple".

Finally, the FDC cancellation motif is orant/bishop with a cross on the neck, located on the reverse of Great Moravian ending from the grave no. 100 situated near the church no. II at hillfort "Valy" near Mikulcice.

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