On April 7, 2024, the friars of the Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Franciscan Publishing House. The event took place at the headquarters of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia.

The Franciscan Publishing House was founded on February 11, 1994, by Friar Grzegorz CIOROCH. Friar Grzegorz thought it would be an excellent instrument for evangelization. The General Custos, Friar Dariusz HARASIMOWICZ, opened the festivities with a quote from St. Francis: “Brothers, while we have time, let us do good.” Friar Dariusz continued: “I think Friar Grzegorz was inspired by these words and those of St. Maximilian M. KOLBE, who in difficult times proclaimed the Good News through the press.” Friar Dariusz also recalled that when he arrived in Moscow as a young priest back in 1996, he was able to observe the spirit of creativity welling up at the Franciscan Publishing House. He witnessed Friar Grzegorz’ ascetic approach. “The thirtieth anniversary of the publishing house is the result of the work that Friar Grzegorz started”
A number of honored guests attended the anniversary ceremony, including the Most Reverend Nikolay DUBININ, OFM Conv., Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow; Father Kiril GORBUNOW, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow and Sławomir ŁUCZAK Consul of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.
Bishop DUBININ had previously directed the publishing house for fifteen years. He spoke about his experience there with gratitude and congratulated the staff of the publishing house as well as its friends and readers. He recounted how, as a seminarian, at the request of Friar Grzegorz CIOROCH, he helped publish the text for the Novena to the Immaculate Virgin. He mentioned some of the important works that had been published over the last thirty years, including the Roman Missal, the five-volume Catholic Encyclopedia, and books related to the Middle Ages, such as the Golden Legend, the History of the Magi, and the Aberdeen Bestiary, which was published just this year.
In his speech, Father Kiril added his own words of gratitude and admiration for the work done by the Franciscan Publishing House. He hoped that its new books would warm the hearts of their readers.
Igor BARANOV, the Executive Director of the Publishing House, presented a historical slideshow featuring the activities of the publishing house over the last thirty years. He thanked the staff and those who participated in the various publishing projects.
The Guardian of the St. Francis of Assisi Friary in Moscow, Friar Piotr KARNIALIUK, played an aria by J. S. BACH on the viola. He asked everyone “to accept this music as a small token of his great gratitude for the work of the publishing house.”
Irina KUVSHINSKAYA, the translator of the Aberdeen Bestiary and a lecturer in the Department of Ancient Languages in the Faculty of History at Moscow State University, talked about the new book: “The Aberdeen Bestiary, was written in the 13th century. It is an extensive collection of stories about animals, birds, snakes and fish, whose images became symbols used in theological interpretation and instruction.”
The anniversary celebrations ended with a fraternal agape meal.

Ad multos annos!