Patrons of Europe
Feast: February 14
Saints Cyril and Methodius take precedence over Saint Valentine in the liturgy.
Cyril: Apostle of the Slavic peoples
Born in Thessolonica, of Greek nobility. He was a brilliant scholar in Constantinople and taught philosophy in this city. As a monk he took the name Cyrilus. He evangelized in Russia with great success.
In 863, he turned to evangelize Moravia along with his brother Methodius in the native language. Some of the eastern clerics opposed them and refused to ordain their candidates to the priesthood.
He developed an alphabet from the Slavic language. After criticism for using this language in the liturgy, it was accepted.
Between the two Saints were published the liturgical texts in the Slavic language written in “Cyrillic” characters, as they were later designated in honor of Saint Cyrilus. They promoted greatly culture and the faith.
Called to Rome, Cyrillus died there on February 14, 869. He either died as a Bishop or shortly before his consecration.
Saint Cyril: Increase your Church, and reunite all her members in one unity.
Methodius went to Panonia when consecrated as Bishop, where he developed a tireless labor of evangelization. He had to suffer a great deal because of several envious persons, but he continued always with the support of the Popes. He evangelized Moravia, Bohemia, Panonia and Poland. He baptized Saint Ludmila and the Duke Boriwoi. He was made the Archbishop of Vellehrad, Slovakia, where he was seized in 870 by the some German clergy opposed to him. Some accused him of heresy, but he was always acquitted from the charges. He translated the Bible into the Slavic language. He died on April 6, 885 in the Slovakian city of Vellehrad.
See General Audience of H.H. Benedict XVI on Sts. Cyril and Methodius...
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