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St. Cyril and St. Methodius

The brothers Methodius (815–885, birth name - Michael) and Cyril (826–869, birth name - Constantine) came from Salonika, Macedonia. Cyril was ordained and became a deacon at the patriarchal Cathedral of Holy Wisdom and a professor of Christian philosophy at the university. His brother became a state official and later on went to live in a monastery and became a monk. The brothers were members of an imperial mission to convert the Khazars in the Crimea. In the year of 863, the brothers were sent to Great Moravia as missionaries at the request of Prince Rostislav; since they taught in the Slavonic language, their mission was very successful. In about five years, the entire Great Moravia was Christianized. Before the mission, Cyril invented an alphabet suitable for Slavic languages and translated the gospels, psalm book and missal; he wrote a foreword to the gospels. In the year of 867, they returned to Rome to defend their activity and, two years later, Cyril died there. Methodius was appointed the papal legate and archbishop of Pannonia and Moravia. After some peripetia, he died in Velehrad in 885. Methodius translated biographies of the fathers of the Church, the Church Code and the Old and New Testaments and wrote several own legal treatises. In the year of 1400, both scholars were proclaimed patrons and protectors of Moravia and, in the year of 1980, Pope John Paul II made them co-patrons of Europe. Cyril’s attributes are a monk habit, book and box with relics. Methodius’ attributes are a bishop vestment, staff and mitre.

 

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