Around the 24 date of May, the work of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius is always recalled. What a footprint the two brothers of Thessaloniki left in the Bulgarian tribal memory is well demonstrated by the glorious episode of the Samara banner being handed over to Bulgarian rebels (6 May 1877). On one side of the banner, nuns from the Samara Virgin Monastery roamed the Virgin Mary of Iberia, and on the other - the faces of St. Cyril and Methodius. The speech on the occasion of the flag's transfer states: "As in the ninth century Cyril and Methodius liberated the Slavs, and especially us Bulgarians, from idolatry and ignorance, so today they will find themselves in the midst of the Bulgarian militia, will encourage it in the battles and will finally help him save Bulgaria and our country from Turkish slavery. "
Two years earlier, from the pages of the newspaper "Zname" (May 9, 1875) Hristo Botev would write, evaluating Cyril - Methodius' work: "In the history of all almost European nations there are such personalities, whose activities are it had a universal character and therefore, in its universal significance, deserves respect and esteem on the part of every single person. (…) And in the history of our trampled and enslaved people today there are pages in which the Bulgarian genius has recorded such important and famous events that give us the right to be proud that we have once contributed something to the history of human progress. , and which, of course, must arouse honor and respect not only in the soul of our young generation, but of every honest, sincere and grateful Slav. "
In characteristic style, with his usual insight into the future, the revolutionary poet Hr. Botev ends his article as follows: "11 May soon be a celebration of our revolution and of our freedom."
Taking into account what Botev wrote, it is good to explain to what the activity of the two brothers owes its significance to a great feat. In his article "Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher and Methodius in Pan-European Development", Academician Emil Georgiev concludes: "The writing created by Cyril and Methodius occupies an exceptional place in the cultural life of medieval Europe. This is the first large, officially accepted - by the state and the church - writing in the vernacular. () We can say that next to Cyril and Methodius on our continent there are two cultures: one, which is based on the Latin script - in Central and Western Europe, and the second, which is based on the ancient Greek script - in a limited area of the Balkans. peninsula, in Byzantium. And suddenly a third culture appeared, based on the old Bulgarian script. It quickly covers the entire eastern half of the continent. (…) Cyril and Methodius also established the first national literary language in medieval Europe - Old Bulgarian. ()
In European literary development, Old Bulgarian literature leads to the acquisition of the vernacular. While in other European literatures foreign and dead Latin was used, respectively, the ancient Greek language, the earliest Slavic writers introduced the vernacular into literature. European literature is not aware of a deeper and stronger conviction of the necessity and importance of writing, in the vernacular, than what the first Slavic writers advocated for it. (…)
The fight against "trilingualism" undertaken by Cyril and Methodius is a struggle for equality of peoples. Cyril and Methodius rebel against the fact that some peoples are considered God-elect and entitled to their own writing and books in their own language, while others are considered "barbarians" and deprived of the right to education and their own church. "
The other important aspect of the merits of Cyril and Methodius for the Slavic writing and culture is the continuity that their work receives. This is done through their disciples - successors, on the one hand, and on the other - because of the far-sighted policy of the Bulgarian rulers St. Prince Boris the Baptist and Tsar Simeon the Great. As Prof. Dora Mircheva notes: in the two Old Bulgarian literary centers of Preslav and Ohrid, the Old Bulgarian language reached an extremely high development during the Golden Age. (…) The old Bulgarian literature of the first centuries - canonical and non-canonical - is perceived in old Russia, "transplanted" there, as DS Likhachev puts it. A process of gradual Russification of the old Bulgarian texts is observed on Russian soil. "
The historical merit of the medieval Bulgarian state for the immortality of the Cyril and Methodius case has been repeatedly emphasized. Academician Dimitar Angelov writes: “The role of Bulgaria as the first and main center of Slavic literacy and culture in the Middle Ages is indisputable. Bulgaria is the first country to become the written and cultural center of the Slavs, and in which the work of Cyril and Methodius and their students begins on the most solid and sound foundations. "
In the words of Jean-Yves Le Guyoux, a Frenchman from France: “Success in the implementation of Old Bulgarian in cultural life and religion is the first aspect of the revolutionary work of Cyril and Methodius.
In the face of a powerful opposition, they were able to raise their language to the level of Latin and Greek.
Moreover, between the Eastern and Western blocs of this period - Byzantium and Rome, the two great reformers imposed the right of the third world, imposed the right of the Slavic world to raise their voice. "
Prof. Donka Petkanova formulated the following important conclusion: “Finally, we should not forget that the work of Cyril and Methodius extends to many peoples. It became a reason for strengthening the Bulgarian-Russian cultural community, for significant literary exchange between Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia. The Old Bulgarian Cyril-Methodius language with editorial (mainly spelling) changes became a literary language for both Russians and Serbs. Thus, over the centuries, the work of Cyril and Methodius became of Slavic importance. "
In conclusion, let us again recall the words of Prof. Vladimir Kolesov: “The unity of all Slavs in the past takes us to the moment when from the formless pagan mass a new Slavic culture was created and with the genius of the brothers Cyril and Methodius was preserved in written word for the future. This is our common birthday, the beginning of Slavic culture and enlightenment. Today, we are all obliged to honor those who, in the distant past, have thought of us. ”Or, as the poet put it,“ we have also read something to the world / and to all of Slovenia; / and when they call him "Bulgarin!" furious, / he should be proud of that name honestly. "