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ST CYRIL, AD 869, MONK, AND ST METHODIUS, AD 885, ARCHBISHOP OF SIRMIUM



Saints Cyril (827-869) and Methodius (825-885) were Greek brothers. Cyril (originally named Constantine) had missionary experience with the Arabs and had been a professor of philosophy at the patriarchal school in Constantinople when he began to work with his brother Methodius, the abbot of a Greek monastery, for the conversion of the Khazars northeast of the Black Sea in 860. In 862, when Prince Rostislav of Great Moravia asked Constantinople for missionaries, the emperor Michael III and the patriarch Photius named Cyril and Methodius.


They started their work among the Slavs in 863, using Slavonic in the liturgy. They translated the Bible into the language later known as Old Church Slavonic (or Old Bulgarian) and invented the Glagolitic alphabet, a Slavic alphabet based on Greek characters that in its final Cyrillic form is still in use as the alphabet for modern Russian and a number of other Slavic languages. And with this Slavonic alphabet translated the Bible into the Slavonic language.


They are venerated as the" Apostles to the Slavs".


After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs.


The posthumous influence of Cyril and Methodius reached distant Kiev which is now the capital of Ukraine They left traces among the Slavs of Croatia, Bohemia and Poland. They were recognized as saints quite early by the Eastern Orthodox Churches and were celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church in 1880. They were honored by Pope John Paul II in his 1985 encyclical, Slavorum Apostoli (“Apostles of the Slavs”).


God Bless You


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