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Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral (Prague, Czech Republic)

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{{cleanup}}[[Image:Pravoslavny katedralni chram sv. Cyrila a Metodeje Resslova Praha.jpg|Right|thumb|300px|Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic]]The '''Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral''' in Prague, Czech Republic, is the principal [[church]] in the Metropolitan Council of the Czech Republic. The existing structure had its origins as a [[Roman Catholic]] church built in the eighteenth century. During World War II, the [[cathedral]] was the scene of the last stand of a number of Czech patriots who had assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi SS Obergruppenfuhrer and General of Police.
The '''SS ==Early history==According to oral tradition, the site where Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral''' in Prague, Czech Republic is the principal church in the Metropolitan Council of the Czech Republic. The site of the church is considered to be stands was the site of a small church that was consecrated built by Duke Borivoj I and dedicated by St . [[Methodiusof Moravia|Methodius]] himself. The This link is based historically upon early and continuing reference to the name "Na Zderaze" for the existing structure had its origins as a Roman Catholic church built in building. In 1091, the eighteenth century. It Czech lord Zderad was leased to killed during the Church siege of Czechoslovakia Brno and was buried in the 1930s by the Czechoslovak governmentearlier church which was near Prague. In 1942, during World War II, the cathedral Zderad's name was then immortalized in the scene name of the last stand of street "Na Zderaze" which is adjacent to the cathedral, thus establishing a number of Czech patriots who have assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, the SS Obergruppenfuhrer and General of Police for the conquering Nazi regimeconnection to this site that was hallowed by St. The reprisals for this act had serious consequences for both the Czech populace and the churchMethodius.
From 1115, the church of Ss. Peter and Paul stood on the site of the present church, around which the Knights of the Cross built the Zderazsky [[monastery]]. During the Hussite wars the church was largely destroyed, leaving only a part of the choir standing. In 1705, the Roman Catholic [[archbishop]] of Prague, Brener, established a retirement home for priests on the site of the monastery next to which a church was later built. ==Early-Modern history==According to oral tradition the site where SS Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral stands was originally built as the site St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church during the years of 1730 to 1740. Construction was started under the direction of Pavel Ignac Bayer, but in 1733 Kristian Spannbruker and Kilian Ignac Dienzenhofer assumed direction of the construction and completed the project in 1740. The dedication was of St. Charles Borromoro, who had been [[archbishop]] of Milan (1538-1584). The church was part of a small home for retired Roman Catholic [[priest]]s and contained a crypt with alcoves for the priests' tombs. The church built and home were closed on [[January 12]], 1783, by Duke Borivoj the Austrian Emperor Josef II and transformed, in 1785, into a army storehouse and barracks respectively. From 1869, the complex was used as a Czech technology center. In 1885, the level of Resslova Street was lowered giving the church an appearance of greater height. When Bp. [[Gorazd (Pavlik) of Prague|Gorazd]] revived the [[Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia|Czech Orthodox Church]] in 1921 he and the church officials began looking for an existing, unused church building for their cathedral. On [[July 29]], 1933, the council of ministers, in response to a request by the Czech Orthodox [[Eparchy]] ([[diocese]]) granted use of the former St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church on the corner of Resslova and Na Zderaze streets to the Czech church under a long term lease. The lease stipulated a number of improvements that the Czech Eparchy would have to make to the church, including a new entrance and renovations of the interior. Consecration of the first Orthodox Church in Prague was held on [[September 28]], 1935, on the feast of St. Wenceslas. The original date of [[October 14]], 1934 was postponed due to the death of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia. The consecration service was led by Bp. Gorazd, assisted by the Serbian Metropolitan Dositej, Sub-Carpathian Bp. Damaskin, and the Russian Bp. Sergiy. The cathedral was dedicated by to Ss. Cyril and Methodius, who had originally brought Orthodox Christianity to Moravia and from whom the church in the Czech Lands is descended. Relics of two saints, the martyred St. Averky and the Serbian archbishop, St. Arseny were interred beneath the altar. From its consecration, the cathedral of Ss. Cyril and Methodius himselfhas been linked by the Prague press to its Byzantine missionary past and to Ss. This link is based historically upon early [[Cyril and continuous reference Methodius|Cyril and Methodius]], noting that Methodius had been there, presiding over worship, and had baptized the first Czech Duke Borivoj and his wife, Ludmila, according to the name ‘‘Na Zderaze’’ for Eastern Church rite. The press further noted that the existing Czech Orthodox Church considered the Duke and his wife to be members of their church buildingjust as the church does with Ss. In 1091Cyril and Methodius. The first priest assigned to the [[parish]] was Fr. Petr Kauer, with Fr. Vladimir Petrek as his assistant. On [[August 11]], 1937, Fr. Petr died and was succeeded by Fr. Vaclav Cikl on [[January 31]], 1938. The cathedral was the scene during World War II of the last stand of a number of Czech lord Zderad patriots who had assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi SS Obergruppenfuhrer and General of Police and the newly appointed Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia. After completion of the military operation by the Czech parachutists on [[May 27]], 1942, seven members of the group took refuge in the [[crypt]] of the cathedral with the assistance of Fr. Vladimir Petrek, layman Jan Sonnevend, Bp. Gorazd, and others. They had planned to stay a short time, but one of the parachutists betrayed them before they could make their escape. On [[June 18]], the cathedral was killed during surrounded by 800 Gestapo soldiers, whose orders were to capture the siege group alive. Three of Brno the Czech patriots died defending the nave of the cathedral, followed by the storming of the crypt by the Gestapo after it was discovered. There, the remaining four Czechs fought until their last four bullets that they used on themselves. Bp. Gorazd took the path of self-sacrifice, with which we are familiar from biographies of the holy martyrs, in an attempt to end the Nazi terror that had begun. He wrote letters to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, and the office of the Reichsprotektor taking full responsibility and was buried ready to undergo any punishment, even death. The only reply he received was his arrest on [[June 25]]. The reprisals continued as the population of the village of Lidice was decimated. The men were shot, the women sent to concentration camps, and children deported to Germany for adoption. After which the village was razed to the ground. The trial of the members of the Czech Orthodox Church was held on [[September 3]], 1942, after which Bp. Gorazd, Fr. Cikl, and council chairman Sonnevend were executed by a firing squad on the next day. Fr. Petrek was executed on [[September 5]]. For aiding the parachutists, 263 Czechs were arrested, transported to the Mauthausen concentration camp, and shot to death on [[October 24]], including nine members of the cathedral’s congregation: Marie Ciklova, wife of the dean; Marie Gruzinnova, Bp. Gorazd’s secretary; Marie Sonnevendova, wife of the council chairman; Ludmila Rysova, choir member; Vaclav Ornest, the sacristan, his wife Frantiska Ornestova, and daughter, Miluse Ornestova, a choir and youth group member; Karel Louda, choir member; and Marie Loudova, also a choir and youth group member. In all, the Orthodox Church lost 13 sons and daughters. The Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia issued an edict on [[September 27]], 1942, closing all Czech Orthodox Churches and confiscating their property. The Orthodox priests were taken away to forced labor in Germany, thus effectively destroying the Czech Orthodox Church. With the end of the war in 1945 the devastated cathedral was returned to the revived Orthodox Church. The first liturgy was held in the courtyard in front of the earlier church that building on [[May 13]], 1945. On third anniversary of the "Heydrich Terror," [[June 17]], the first memorial service for the victims of the terror was near Pragueheld in the overflowing cathedral. Zderad’s name The cathedral was re-consecrated on [[July 5]], 1947 as it had been desecrated in the Gestapo attack of 1942. In 1946, the apartment of the martyred sacristan, Vaclav Ornest, was converted into a [[chapel]] as a memorial to Bp. Gorazd and was consecrated on [[November 12]], 1947. A bronze memorial plaque, unveiled on [[October 28]], 1947, was placed on the exterior of the cathedral emblazoned with relief portraits of the parachutists who died in the cathedral as well as Bp. Gorazd, who was [[Glorification|glorified]] on [[September 4]], 1987. Since then immortalized , the cathedral has been restored further, including new iconography and painting. Through the years since World War II, memorial services have been held annually on [[June 18]] in remembrance of the name victims of "Heydrich’s Terror". The annual remembrance has culminated in the street “Na Zderazeestablishment of the Orthodox Cathedral of Ss. Cyril and Methodius as ''A National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror - A Place of Reconciliation''. This took place on the 60th anniversary, [[September 28]], 1995, of its original consecration as the first Czech Orthodox cathedral. ==Source==*Jaraslav Suvarsky and Eva Suvarska, ''A National Memorial to the Heros of the Heydrich Terror - A Place of Reconciliation'', Orthodox Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Pragus, Prague, 2002 ==External link==*[ Official church website] (Czech) [[Category:Churches|Cyril]] == Headline text ==

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