Christmas time at Velehrad

Christmas time at Velehrad

Christmas time has an unrepeatable charm, thanks to the hope brought by the newborn Child in Bethlehem. This year, this hope was especially needed - after the tragic events in Prague close to Christmas. The team of the Centre Velehrad in Rome joined the prayers and the day of national mourning by making a penitential pilgrimage to Poggio Bustone, where St Francis experienced the forgiveness of his sins from his youth, and to Cascia to St Rita, the patroness in hopeless situations. Even over the "Valle santa" - the Sacred Valley around Rieti - the bell rang, commemorating the victims of the Prague shooting.

The Christmas season also brought with it many beautiful things: as every year, the Slovak carolers sang us some carols. They came not only to cheer their compatriots in Rome and to support the mission in Africa with the proceeds, but also to meet the Holy Father Francis at the New Year's Mass. On the last night of the old year, they also joined in a prayer of thanksgiving  which the guests of the house were invited to. The traditional blessing of the house took place in the evening of the Three Kings' Day, with the powerful singing of carols, ending with a short prayer together in the chapel. Throughout, the atmosphere of the house was enhanced by the simple but eloquent Christmas decorations.

General Meeting 2023

General Meeting 2023

In the week from October 16, 2023, the annual meeting of the ČNS Velehrad General Assembly took place in the premises of the Pilgrimage House. Opening Holy mass was presided over by Prague Auxiliary Bishop Zdenek Wasserbauer, who was participating in the Synod about Synodality in the Vatican for the whole month as a delegate of the Czech Bishops' Conference. The Pilgrimage House Velehrad was happy to provide him with a background in this mission, as well as Mrs. Monica Klimentová, ČBK press secretary.

About twenty members of the ČNS, both from Rome and those living in the Czech Republic or abroad, gathered for the general meeting, others joined online. Together they looked back at the events of the past year, reflected on it, looked to the future and looked for how the Pilgrimage House could fulfill its mission even better. Last but not least, there was space for nice friendly meetings, especially during the Thursday trip to Greccio and Fonte Colombo. Both are places associated with St. Francis of Assisi and this year's 800th anniversary of his first Nativity scene in Greccio and the writing of the Rule in Fonte Colombo. There was also a traditional stop in Frascati. The community of travelers or pilgrims was also enriched by their friends who came to Rome with them.

55 years of Velehrad

55 years of Velehrad

On the day of the celebration of St. Wenceslas, the Velehrad Pilgrimage House celebrated 55 years of its existence. For his half-round birthday, it received as a gift a pilgrimage from the parish of Ostrava-Zábřeh (organized by CK Křížek), which was intensively devoted by the sisters during the entire "birthday" week. The people of Ostrava accompanied their bishop Martin David to the celebration of the pontifical Holy mass  on the occasion of the celebration of the Czech national patron in the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. This Holy Mass is one of the traditional opportunities for Czech pilgrims and compatriots to meet and is annually sponsored and organized by the Embassy of the Czech Republic at the Holy See in the person of Mr. Ambassador Václav Kolaja. He also invited all present Czech pilgrims to the terrace of our Pilgrimage House for a mini-concert by the Ondrášek Choir from Nový Jičín, which had previously accompanied the Holy Mass, and there was plenty of refreshments. In addition to about a hundred pilgrims from Ostrava, the meeting in a beautiful friendly atmosphere was attended by their Bishop David, the invitation was also accepted by the former nuncio in Prague, Archbishop Leanza, and many of the compatriots living in Rome.

Almost a month later, following the mentioned anniversary of the house, the embassy used the space of the hall at the reception to acquaint family members of diplomats working at the Holy See with the life of the founder of the Pilgrimage House and the great Czech witness of the faith, Cardinal Josef Beran, a candidate for beatification.

June visits

June visits

In the last days of June, the Pilgrimage House welcomed some honoured guests: first, on the 28th June it had the honor to host at the lunch superiorsof all the Czech and Slovak priestly seminaries, who had during these days in Rome a meeting with colleagues from other seminaries and also visited the relevant authorities and the Dicastery.

The following day, the Ex- Apostolic Nuncio in the Czech Republic, currently in Australia, Mons. Charles D. Balvo, accepted an invitation to a friendly dinner.

Tasting of blessed beer

Tasting of blessed beer

A pleasant meeting at the annual tasting of blessed Pilsner beer on the terrace of the Velehrad Pilgrimage House is becoming a lovely tradition. This year, the Embassy of the Czech Republic at the Holy See organized it in the afternoon of April 11. It was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, people in the Vatican services, former nuncio to the Czech Republic, Msgr. Leanza and representatives of the Czech community in Rome. The opening speech and the symbolic tapping of the wooden barrel were done by Mr. Ambassador Václav Kolaj with the help of the most qualified expert, emeritus chief brewer Mr. Berka. The atmosphere in the sunny weather was more than friendly.

Easter in Velehrad

Easter in Velehrad

The Easter triduum, through which we make present and relive the central mystery of faith, i.e. the redemptive suffering, death and resurrection of Christ, had a unique atmosphere in our house this year. A group of Slovak pilgrims led by Msgr. Spišák from the Archdiocese of Košice although was not staying in our house, she celebrated this liturgy here and with us. On Good Friday, the flock of present people was able tohonor the triumph of the cross, on Holy Saturday evening, during the renewal of baptismal vows, the light of the candles lit up the entire reception hall, which was transformed into a chapel, and Easter Alleluia! resounded the whole house... On the Easter feast, most of those present went to the papal Holly mass and the subsequent Urbi et Orbi blessing on the St. Peters-Square.

Early spring in Rome

Early spring in Rome

Already since the beginning of February, nature in Rome begins to bloom slowly, and with it the pilgrimage traffic in our house and in the whole Eternal City is also "blooming". At the beginning of the month, a parish- group from Šumperk traveled with their parish priest Father Slawomir, one of the participants was Mrs. Borisa, the oldest pilgrim in our house (90), who managed the demanding program with amirabile ease. Half of February traditionally belongs to the celebration of the Slavic apostles St. Cyril and Methodius, who are in the Roman Church on the calendar 14.2. This year's solemn Holy mass at the grave of St. Cyril in the Basilica of St. Kliment was organized by the Pontifical Colledge Nepomucenum in the cooperation with the czech ambasador to The Holy See Mr. Kolaja, the main celebrant was the administrator of the Olomouc Archdiocese, Bishop Nuzík. On the last weekend of February, Velehrad made a rare experience - young Dominican sisters from various congregations from all over Europe came together and experienced their formation meeting in the reception hall in the form of a conference with workshops. In March, several school and parish groups from various parts of the Czech and Slovak Republics, eastern and western rites took turns at Velehrad. Spring vacation time brought whole families to us, even grandmothers with grandchildren…

The Faces of the Convict Vatican

The Faces of the Convict Vatican exhibition

Until the middle of February, it will be possible to see an exhibition of paintings by Mrs. Barbora Pavelková, working under the pseudonym Claudi Ondok, in the Velehrad Pilgrimage House. These are portraits of great personalities, mainly of the Czech Catholic Church, imprisoned in communist jails, well-known and less-known personalities, priests and laymen, men and women, official and so-called underground church personalities. There is also a portrait of Father Petr Ondok, a family friend, from whom the painter borrowed part of her stage name.

The exhibition is held under the auspices of the Czech ambassador to the Holy See, Václav Kolaja. The opening took place on 18 November 2022 on the occasion of the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and the regaining of freedom with the participation of members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of the Czech community in Rome.

La Parrocchia di Valašské Klobouky a Roma

Valašské Klobouky Parish in Rome

Among many parish pilgrimages hosted by our Pilgrimage House this year, the parish from Valašské Klobouky caught the eye with its original concept. Due to the great interest to enjoy the pilgrimage to Rome together, two groups alternated here in two shifts – first from 5th to 8th November pilgrims who arrived by bus, then from 9th to 13th November those who arrived by plane. Their spiritual fathers took charge of organizing the pilgrimage and accompanying their parishioners. Both groups reached to create a warm atmosphere, which they divided to other guests of the Velehrad Pilgrimage House by (not only) singing traditional folk songs...

Assemblea 2022

General meeting 2022

In the week of 17.-21.10. the annual general meeting of the Czech Religious Center Velehrad was held. After a two-year interruption caused by covid, more members could meet again physically, some took part in the meeting online, including several bishops. After serious sessions days, there was also an opportunity to enjoy moments of prayer and relaxation together during a trip to Orvieto and Bolsena, places related with the czech priest Peter and the Eucharistic miracle, which became the impetus for the introduction of Corpus Christi. A stop in Frascati served to complete the shared experience.