Saints Cyril and Methodius

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Saints Cyril and Methodius
Cyril-methodius-small.jpg
"Saints Cyril and Methodius holding the Cyrillic alphabet," a mural by Bulgarian iconographer Z. Zograf, 1848, Troyan Monastery
Bishops and Confessors; Equals to the Apostles; Patrons of Europe; Apostles to the Slavs
Born826 or 827 and 815
Thessalonica, Byzantine Empire (present-day Greece)
Died(869-02-14)14 February 869 and (885-04-06)6 April 885
Rome and Velehrad, Moravia
Venerated in Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion [1]
Lutheranism [2]
Feast 11 and 24 May [3] (Orthodox Church)
14 February (present Roman Catholic calendar); 5 July (Roman Catholic calendar 1880–1886); 7 July (Roman Catholic calendar 1887–1969)
5 July (Roman Catholic Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Attributes brothers depicted together; Eastern bishops holding up a church; Eastern bishops holding an icon of the Last Judgment. [4] Often, Cyril is depicted wearing a monastic habit and Methodius vested as a bishop with omophorion.
Patronage Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Transnistria, Archdiocese of Ljubljana, Europe, [4] Slovak Eparchy of Toronto, Eparchy of Košice [5]

Saints Cyril and Methodius (826–869, 815–885; Greek : Κύριλλος καὶ Μεθόδιος (Kýrillos kaí Methódios), Old Church Slavonic: Кѷриллъ и Меѳодїи [more] ) were two brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title "Apostles to the Slavs". [6] They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. [7] After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of " equal-to-apostles ". In 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia. [8]

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Old Church Slavonic Medieval Slavic literary language

Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic, also known as Old Church Slavic, or Old Slavic, was the first Slavic literary language. It is also referred to as Paleo-Slavic (Paleoslavic) or Palaeo-Slavic (Palaeoslavic), not to be confused with Proto-Slavic. It is often abbreviated to OCS.

Byzantine Greeks Greek-speaking Christian Romans of the Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Greeks were the Greek-speaking Christian Romans of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. They were the main inhabitants of the lands of the Byzantine Empire, of Constantinople and Asia Minor, the Greek islands, Cyprus, and portions of the southern Balkans, and formed large minorities, or pluralities, in the coastal urban centres of the Levant and northern Egypt. Throughout their history, the Byzantine Greeks self-identified as Romans, but are referred to as "Byzantine Greeks" in modern historiography.

Early career

Early life

The two brothers were born in Thessalonica, in present-day Greece – Cyril in about 827–828 and Methodius about 815–820. Cyril was reputedly the youngest of seven brothers; he was born Constantine, [9] but was given the name Cyril upon becoming a monk in Rome shortly before his death, [10] [11] [12] according to the Vita Cyrilli ("The Life of Cyril"). Methodius was born Michael and was given the name Methodius upon becoming a monk at Mysian Olympus (present-day Uludağ), in northwest Turkey. [13] Their father was Leo, a droungarios of the Byzantine theme of Thessalonica, and their mother was Maria.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a sovereign state located in Southern and Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Mysia Historical region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor

Mysia was a region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor. It was located on the south coast of the Sea of Marmara. It was bounded by Bithynia on the east, Phrygia on the southeast, Lydia on the south, Aeolis on the southwest, Troad on the west and by the Propontis on the north. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Mysians, Phrygians, Aeolian Greeks and other groups.

Uludağ mountain

Uludağ, the ancient Mysian Olympus, is a mountain in Bursa Province, Turkey, with an elevation of 2,543 m (8,343 ft).

The exact ethnic origins of the brothers are unknown, there is controversy as to whether Cyril and Methodius were of Slavic [14] or Byzantine Greek [15] origin, or both. [16] The two brothers lost their father when Cyril was fourteen, and the powerful minister Theoktistos, who was logothetes tou dromou , one of the chief ministers of the Empire, became their protector. He was also responsible, along with the regent Bardas, for initiating a far-reaching educational program within the Empire which culminated in the establishment of the University of Magnaura, where Cyril was to teach. Cyril was ordained as priest some time after his education, while his brother Methodius remained a deacon until 867/868. [17]

Early Slavs

The early Slavs were a diverse group of tribal societies who lived during the Migration Period and Early Middle Ages in Eastern Europe and established the foundations for the Slavic nations through the Slavic states of the High Middle Ages. The first written use of the name "Slavs" dates to the 6th century, when the Slavic tribes inhabited a large portion of Central and Eastern Europe. By that century, nomadic Iranian ethnic groups living on the Eurasian Steppe had been absorbed by the region's Slavic population. Over the next two centuries, the Slavs expanded southwest toward the Balkans and the Alps and northeast towards the Volga River. It's still a matter of controversy where the original habitat of the Slavs was, but scholars believe it was somewhere in Eastern Europe. In the past not much attention was paid to the origin of the Slavic people.

Theoktistos Byzantine regent

Theoktistos was a leading Byzantine official during the second quarter of the 9th century and the de facto head of the regency for the underage Michael III from 842 until his dismissal and murder in 855. A eunuch, he assisted in the ascent of Michael II to the throne in 822, and was rewarded with the titles of patrikios and later magistros. He held the high posts of chartoularios tou kanikleiou and logothetēs tou dromou under Michael and his son Theophilos. After Theophilos' death in 842, Theoktistos became member of the regency council, but soon managed to sideline the other members and establish himself as the virtual ruler of the Empire. Noted for his administrative and political competence, Theoktistos played a major role in ending the Byzantine Iconoclasm, and fostered the ongoing renaissance in education within the Empire. He also continued the persecution of the Paulicians, but had mixed success in the wars against the Arabs. When Michael III came of age in 855, his uncle Bardas persuaded him to throw off the tutelage of Theoktistos and his mother, the Empress Theodora, and on 20 November 855, Theoktistos was assassinated by Bardas and his followers.

The logothetēs tou dromou, in English usually rendered as Logothete of the Course/Drome/Dromos or Postal Logothete, was the head of the department of the Public Post, and one of the most senior fiscal ministers (logothetes) of the Byzantine Empire.

Mission to the Khazars

About the year 860, Byzantine Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch of Constantinople Photius (a professor of Cyril's at the University and his guiding light in earlier years), sent Cyril on a missionary expedition to the Khazars who had requested a scholar be sent to them who could converse with both Jews and Saracens. [18] It has been claimed that Methodius accompanied Cyril on the mission to the Khazars, but this may be a later invention.[ citation needed ] The account of his life presented in the Latin "Legenda" claims that he learned the Khazar language while in Chersonesos, in Taurica (today Crimea).

Michael III Byzantine emperor

Michael III was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian dynasty. He was given the disparaging epithet the Drunkard by the hostile historians of the succeeding Macedonian dynasty, but modern historical research has rehabilitated his reputation to some extent, demonstrating the vital role his reign played in the resurgence of Byzantine power in the 9th century.

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople position

The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and ranks as primus inter pares among the heads of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is widely regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of the 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide. The term Ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, and it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon.

Photios I of Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

Photios I, , also spelled Photius or Fotios, was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886; He is recognized in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Saint Photios the Great.

After his return to Constantinople, Cyril assumed the role of professor of philosophy at the University while his brother had by this time become a significant player in Byzantine political and administrative affairs, and an abbot of his monastery.[ citation needed ]

Philosophy Study of general and fundamental questions

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

The expedition of Cyril and Methodius is mentioned in Dictionary of the Khazars , the first novel of Milorad Pavić.

<i>Dictionary of the Khazars</i> book by Milorad Pavić

Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel is the first novel by Serbian writer Milorad Pavić, published in 1984. Originally written in Serbian, the novel has been translated into many languages. It was first published in English by Knopf, New York in 1988.

Milorad Pavić Serbian writer

Milorad Pavić was a Serbian novelist, poet, short story writer, and literary historian. Born in Belgrade in 1929, he published a number of poems, short stories and novels during his lifetime, the most famous of which was the Dictionary of the Khazars (1984). Upon its release, it was hailed as "the first novel of the 21st century." Pavić's works have been translated into more than thirty languages. He was vastly popular in Europe and in South America, and was deemed "one of the most intriguing writers from the beginning of the 21st century." He won numerous prizes in Serbia and in the former Yugoslavia, and was mentioned several times as a potential candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in Belgrade in 2009.

Mission to the Slavs

Great Moravia

Cyril and Methodius, painting by Jan Matejko, 1885 Cyril and Methodius.jpg
Cyril and Methodius, painting by Jan Matejko, 1885
The church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in their hometown, Thessaloniki, Greece Church Cyril Methodius Salonica 1.jpg
The church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in their hometown, Thessaloniki, Greece

In 862, the brothers began the work which would give them their historical importance. That year Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia requested that Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch Photius send missionaries to evangelize his Slavic subjects. His motives in doing so were probably more political than religious. Rastislav had become king with the support of the Frankish ruler Louis the German, but subsequently sought to assert his independence from the Franks. It is a common misconception that Cyril and Methodius were the first to bring Christianity to Moravia, but the letter from Rastislav to Michael III states clearly that Rastislav's people "had already rejected paganism and adhere to the Christian law." [19] Rastislav is said to have expelled missionaries of the Roman Church and instead turned to Constantinople for ecclesiastical assistance and, presumably, a degree of political support. [20] The Emperor quickly chose to send Cyril, accompanied by his brother Methodius. [21] The request provided a convenient opportunity to expand Byzantine influence. Their first work seems to have been the training of assistants. In 863, they began the task of translating the Bible into the language now known as Old Church Slavonic and travelled to Great Moravia to promote it. [22] They enjoyed considerable success in this endeavour. However, they came into conflict with German ecclesiastics who opposed their efforts to create a specifically Slavic liturgy.

For the purpose of this mission, they devised the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet to be used for Slavonic manuscripts. The Glagolitic alphabet was suited to match the specific features of the Slavic language. Its descendant script, the Cyrillic, is still used by many languages today. [20]

The brothers wrote the first Slavic Civil Code, which was used in Great Moravia. The language derived from Old Church Slavonic, known as Church Slavonic, is still used in liturgy by several Orthodox Churches and also in some Eastern Catholic churches.

It is impossible to determine with certainty what portions of the Bible the brothers translated. The New Testament and the Psalms seem to have been the first, followed by other lessons from the Old Testament. The "Translatio" speaks only of a version of the Gospels by Cyril, and the "Vita Methodii" only of the "evangelium Slovenicum," though other liturgical selections may also have been translated.

Nor is it known for sure which liturgy, that of Rome or that of Constantinople, they took as a source. They may well have used the Roman alphabet, as suggested by liturgical fragments which adhere closely to the Latin type. This view is confirmed by the "Prague Fragments" and by certain Old Glagolitic liturgical fragments brought from Jerusalem to Kiev and discovered there by Saresnewsky—probably the oldest document for the Slavonic tongue; these adhere closely to the Latin type, as is shown by the words "Mass,""Preface," and the name of one Felicitas. In any case, the circumstances were such that the brothers could hope for no permanent success without obtaining the authorization of Rome.

Journey to Rome

Saints Cyril and Methodius in Rome. Fresco in San Clemente San clemente fresco.jpg
Saints Cyril and Methodius in Rome. Fresco in San Clemente

The mission of Constanine and Methodius had great success among Slavs in part because they used the people's native language rather than Latin or Greek. In Great Moravia, Constantine and Methodius also encountered missionaries from East Francia, representing the western or Latin branch of the Church, and more particularly representing the Carolingian Empire as founded by Charlemagne, and committed to linguistic, and cultural uniformity. They insisted on the use of the Latin liturgy, and they regarded Moravia and the Slavic peoples as part of their rightful mission field.

When friction developed, the brothers, unwilling to be a cause of dissension among Christians, decided to travel to Rome to see the Pope, and seek a solution that would avoid quarreling between missionaries in the field. In 867, Pope Nicholas I (858-867) invited the brothers to Rome. Their evangelizing mission in Moravia had by this time become the focus of a dispute with Archbishop Adalwin of Salzburg (859–873) and Bishop Ermanrich of Passau (866-874), who claimed ecclesiastical control of the same territory and wished to see it use the Latin liturgy exclusively.

Travelling with the relics of Saint Clement and a retinue of disciples, and passing through Pannonia (the Balaton Principality), where they were well received by Prince Koceľ. This activity in Pannonia made a continuation of conflicts inevitable with the German episcopate, and especially with the bishop of Salzburg, to whose jurisdiction Pannonia had belonged for seventy-five years. As early as 865, Bishop Adalwin was found to exercise Episcopal rights there, and the administration under him was in the hands of the archpriest Riehbald. The latter was obliged to retire to Salzburg, but his superior was naturally disinclined to abandon his claims.

The brothers sought support from Rome, and arrived there in 868, where they were warmly received. This was partly due to their bringing with them the relics of Saint Clement; the rivalry with Constantinople as to the jurisdiction over the territory of the Slavs would incline Rome to value the brothers and their influence. [20]

New Pope Adrian II (867-872) gave Methodius the title of Archbishop of Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia) and sent him back in 869, with jurisdiction over all of Moravia and Pannonia, and authorisation to use the Slavonic Liturgy. The brothers were praised for their learning and cultivated for their influence in Constantinople. Anastasius Bibliothecarius would later call Cyril "a man of apostolic life" and "a man of great wisdom". [23] Their project in Moravia found support from Pope Adrian II, who formally authorized the use of the new Slavic liturgy. Subsequently Methodius was ordained as priest by the pope himself, and five Slavic disciples were ordained as priests (Saint Gorazd, Saint Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum) and as deacons (Saint Angelar and Saint Sava) by the prominent bishops Formosus and Gauderic. [24] Cyril and Methodius along with these five disciples are collectively venerated (mainly by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church) as "Seven Saints". [25] The newly made priests officiated in their own languages at the altars of some of the principal churches. Feeling his end approaching, Cyril became a Basilian monk, was given the new name Cyril, [26] and died in Rome fifty days later (14 February 869). There is some question as to assertion of the Translatio (ix.) that he was made a bishop.

The statement of the "Vita" that Methodius was made bishop in 870 and not raised to the dignity of an archbishop until 873 is contradicted by the brief of Pope John VIII, written in June 879, according to which Adrian consecrated him archbishop; John includes in his jurisdiction not only Great Moravia and Pannonia, but Serbia as well.

Methodius alone

Saint Cyril and Methodius by Stanislav Dospevski, Bulgarian painter Stanislav Dospavski - Saints Cyril and Methodius.png
Saint Cyril and Methodius by Stanislav Dospevski, Bulgarian painter

Methodius now continued the work among the Slavs alone; not at first in Great Moravia, but in Pannonia (in the Balaton Principality), owing to the political circumstances of the former country, where Rastislav had been taken captive by his nephew Svatopluk in 870, then delivered over to Carloman of Bavaria, and condemned in a diet held at Regensburg at the end of 870. A the same time, the East Frankish rulers and their bishops decided to remove Methodius. The archiepiscopal claims of Methodius were considered such an injury to the rights of Salzburg that he was captured and forced to answer to East Frankish bishops: Adalwin of Salzburg, Ermanrich of Passau, and Anno of Freising. After a heated discussion, they declared the deposition of the intruder, and ordered him to be sent to Germany, where he was kept prisoner in a monastery for two and a half years. [27]

In spite of the strong representations of the Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum , written in 871 to influence the pope, though not avowing this purpose, Rome declared emphatically for Methodius, and sent a bishop, Paul of Ancona, to reinstate him and punish his enemies, after which both parties were commanded to appear in Rome with the legate. Thus in 873, new Pope John VIII (872-882) secured the release of Methodius, but instructed him to stop using the Slavonic Liturgy. [28]

Methodius' final years

The papal will prevailed, and Methodius secured his freedom and his archiepiscopal authority over both Great Moravia and Pannonia, though the use of Slavonic for the mass was still denied to him. His authority was restricted in Pannonia when after Koceľ's death the principality was administered by German nobles; but Svatopluk now ruled with practical independence in Great Moravia, and expelled the German clergy. This apparently secured an undisturbed field of operation for Methodius, and the Vita (x.) depicts the next few years (873–879) as a period of fruitful progress. Methodius seems to have disregarded, wholly or in part, the prohibition of the Slavonic liturgy; and when Frankish clerics again found their way into the country, and the archbishop's strictness had displeased the licentious Svatopluk, this was made a cause of complaint against him at Rome, coupled with charges regarding the Filioque .

In 878, Methodius was summoned to Rome on charges of heresy and using Slavonic. This time Pope John was convinced by the arguments that Methodius made in his defence and sent him back cleared of all charges, and with permission to use Slavonic. The Carolingian bishop who succeeded him, Witching, suppressed the Slavonic Liturgy and forced the followers of Methodius into exile. Many found refuge with Knyaz Boris of Bulgaria, under whom they reorganised a Slavic-speaking Church. Meanwhile, Pope John's successors adopted a Latin-only policy which lasted for centuries.

Methodius vindicated his orthodoxy at Rome, the more easily as the creed was still recited there without the Filioque, and promised to obey in regard to the liturgy. The other party was conciliated by giving him a Swabian, Wiching, as his coadjutor. When relations were strained between the two, John VIII steadfastly supported Methodius; but after his death (December 882) the archbishop's position became insecure, and his need of support induced Goetz to accept the statement of the Vita (xiii.) that he went to visit the Eastern emperor.

It was not until after Methodius' death, which is placed on 6 April 885, [29] that the animosity erupted into an open conflict. Gorazd, whom Methodius had designated as his successor, was not recognised by Pope Stephen V. The same Pope forbade the use of the Slavic liturgy [30] and placed the infamous Wiching as Methodius' successor. The latter exiled the disciples of the two brothers from Great Moravia in 885. They fled to the First Bulgarian Empire, where they were welcomed and commissioned to establish theological schools. There they and scholar Saint Clement of Ohrid [31] devised the Cyrillic script on the basis of the Glagolitic. Cyrillic gradually replaced Glagolitic as the alphabet of the Old Church Slavonic language, which became the official language of the Bulgarian Empire and later spread to the Eastern Slav lands of Kievan Rus'. Cyrillic eventually spread throughout most of the Slavic world to become the standard alphabet in the Eastern Orthodox Slavic countries. Hence, Cyril and Methodius' efforts also paved the way for the spread of Christianity throughout Eastern Europe.

Methodius' body was buried in the main cathedral church of Great Moravia. Until today it remains an open question which city was capital of Great Moravia and therefore the place of Methodius' eternal rest remains unknown. [32]

Invention of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets

The Baska tablet is an early example of the Glagolitic from Croatia Bascanska ploca.jpg
The Baška tablet is an early example of the Glagolitic from Croatia
A cartoon about Saints Cyril and Methodius from Bulgaria in 1938. The caption reads : Brother Cyril, go tell those who are inside to learn the alphabet so they know freedom (Bulgarian: svoboda
) and eradication (Bulgarian: slobodiia
) are not the same. Cyril and Methodius - Bulgarian cartoon, 1938.jpg
A cartoon about Saints Cyril and Methodius from Bulgaria in 1938. The caption reads : Brother Cyril, go tell those who are inside to learn the alphabet so they know freedom (Bulgarian : свобода) and eradication (Bulgarian : слободия) are not the same.

The Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets are the oldest known Slavic alphabets, and were created by the two brothers and their students, to translate the Bible and other texts into the Slavic languages. [33] The early Glagolitic alphabet was used in Great Moravia between 863 (the arrival of Cyril and Methodius) and 885 (the expulsion of their students) for government and religious documents and books, and at the Great Moravian Academy (Veľkomoravské učilište) founded by Cyril, where followers of Cyril and Methodius were educated, by Methodius himself among others. The alphabet has been traditionally attributed to Cyril. That attribution has been confirmed explicitly by the papal letter Industriae tuae (880) approving the use of Old Church Slavonic, which says that the alphabet was "invented by Constantine the Philosopher". The term invention need not exclude the possibility of the brothers having made use of earlier letters, but implies only that before that time the Slavic languages had no distinct script of their own.

The early Cyrillic alphabet was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire [34] and later finalized and spread by disciples Kliment and Naum in the Ohrid and Preslav schools of Tsar Boris I of Bulgaria [35] as a simplification of the Glagolitic alphabet which more closely resembled the Greek alphabet. It was developed by the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius at the Preslav Literary School at the end of the 9th century.

After the death of Cyril, Clement of Ohrid accompanied Methodius from Rome to Pannonia and Great Moravia. After the death of Methodius in 885, Clement headed the struggle against the German clergy in Great Moravia along with Gorazd. After spending some time in jail, he was expelled from Great Moravia, and in 885 or 886 reached the borders of the Bulgarian Empire together with Naum of Preslav, Angelarius, and possibly Gorazd (according to other sources, Gorazd was already dead by that time). The four of them were afterwards sent to the Bulgarian capital of Pliska, where they were commissioned by Tsar Boris I of Bulgaria to instruct the future clergy of the state in the Slavonic language.

After the adoption of Christianity in 865, religious ceremonies in Bulgaria were conducted in Greek by clergy sent from the Byzantine Empire. Fearing growing Byzantine influence and weakening of the state, Boris viewed the adoption of the Old Slavonic language as a way to preserve the political independence and stability of Bulgaria, so he established two literary schools (academies), in Pliska and Ohrid, where theology was to be taught in the Slavonic language. While Naum of Preslav stayed in Pliska working on the foundation of the Pliska Literary School, Clement was commissioned by Boris I to organise the teaching of theology to future clergymen in Old Church Slavonic at the Ohrid Literary School. For seven years (886-893) Clement taught some 3,500 students in the Slavonic language and the Glagolitic alphabet.

Commemoration

Saints Cyril and Methodius' Day

Saints Cyril and Methodius procession Cross Procession in Novosibirsk 04.jpg
Saints Cyril and Methodius procession

The canonization process was much more relaxed in the decades following Cyril's death than today. Cyril was regarded by his disciples as a saint soon after his death. His following spread among the nations he evangelized and subsequently to the wider Christian Church, and he was famous as a holy man, along with his brother Methodius. There were calls for Cyril's canonization from the crowds lining the Roman streets during his funeral procession. The brothers' first appearance in a papal document is in Grande Munus of Leo XIII in 1880. They are known as the "Apostles of the Slavs", and are still highly regarded by both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians. Their feast day is currently celebrated on 14 February in the Roman Catholic Church (to coincide with the date of St Cyril's death); on 11 May in the Eastern Orthodox Church (though for Eastern Orthodox Churches which use the Julian Calendar this is 24 May according to the Gregorian calendar); and on 7 July according to the old sanctoral calendar that existed before the revisions of the Second Vatican Council. The celebration also commemorates the introduction of literacy and the preaching of the gospels in the Slavonic language by the brothers. The brothers were declared "Patrons of Europe" in 1980. [36]

According to old Bulgarian chronicles, the day of the holy brothers was celebrated ecclesiastically as early as the 11th century. The first recorded secular celebration of Saints Cyril and Methodius' Day as the "Day of the Bulgarian script", as traditionally accepted by Bulgarian history, was held in the town of Plovdiv on 11 May 1851, when a local Bulgarian school was named "Saints Cyril and Methodius": both acts on the initiative of the prominent Bulgarian educator Nayden Gerov, [37] although an Armenian traveller mentioned his visit to the "celebration of the Bulgarian script" in the town of Shumen on 22 May 1803. [38]

The day is now celebrated as a public holiday in the following countries:

The saints' feast day is celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Church on 11 May and by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion on 14 February as "Saints Cyril and Methodius Day". The Lutheran Churches of Western Christianity commemorate the two saints either on 14 February or 11 May. The Byzantine Rite Lutheran Churches celebrate Saints Cyril and Methodius Day on 24 May. [41]

Other commemoration

The national library of Bulgaria in Sofia, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje in the North Macedonia, and St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria and in Trnava, Slovakia, bear the name of the two saints. Faculty of Theology at Palacký University in Olomouc (Czech Republic), bears the name "Saints Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology". In the United States, SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan, bears their name.

Saints Cyril and Methodius are the main patron saints of the Archdiocese of Ljubljana. Ljubljana Cathedral stands at Cyril and Methodius Square (Slovene : Ciril–Metodov trg). [42] They are also patron saints of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Košice (Slovakia) [5] and the Slovak Greek Catholic Eparchy of Toronto.

St. Cyril Peak and St. Methodius Peak in the Tangra Mountains on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, in Antarctica are named for the brothers.

Saint Cyril's remains are interred in a shrine-chapel within the Basilica di San Clemente in Rome. The chapel holds a Madonna by Sassoferrato.

The Basilica of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Danville, Pennsylvania, (the only Roman Catholic basilica dedicated to SS. Cyril and Methodius in the world) is the motherhouse chapel of the Sisters of SS. Cyril and Methodius, a Roman Catholic women's religious community of pontifical rite dedicated to apostolic works of ecumenism, education, evangelization, and elder care. [43]

See also

Notes

a. ^ Belarusian : Кірыла і Мяфодзій (Kiryła i Miafodzij) or Кірыла і Мятода (Kiryła i Miatoda)
  • Bulgarian : Кирил и Методий (Kiril i Metodiy)
  • Croatian : Ćiril i Metod
  • Czech : Cyril a Metoděj
  • Macedonian : Кирил и Методиј (Kiril i Metodij)
  • New Church Slavonic: Кѷрі́ллъ и҆ Меѳо́дїй (Kỳrill" i Methodij)
  • Russian : Кири́лл и Мефодий (Kirill i Mefodij), pre-1918 spelling: Кириллъ и Меѳодій (Kirill" i Methodij)
  • Serbian : Ћирило и Методије / Ćirilo i Metodije
  • Slovak : Cyril a Metod
  • Slovene : Ciril in Metod
  • Ukrainian : Кирило і Мефодій (Kyrylo i Mefodij)

Related Research Articles

Cyrillic script alphabetic writing system

The Cyrillic script is a writing system used for various alphabets across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic-, Turkic- and Persian-speaking countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and North Asia.

Glagolitic script Oldest known Slavic alphabet

The Glagolitic script is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. It is generally agreed to have been created in the 9th century by Saint Cyril, a Byzantine monk from Thessaloniki. He and his brother, Saint Methodius, were sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 863 to Great Moravia to spread Christianity among the West Slavs in the area. The brothers decided to translate liturgical books into the Old Slavic language that was understandable to the general population, but as the words of that language could not be easily written by using either the Greek or Latin alphabets, Cyril decided to invent a new script, Glagolitic, which he based on the local dialect of the Slavic tribes from the Byzantine theme of Thessalonica.

Principality of Lower Pannonia former country

The Balaton Principality or Principality of Lower Pannonia, was a Slavic principality, vassal to the Frankish Empire, or according to others a comitatus (county) of the Frankish Empire, led initially by a dux (Pribina) and later by a comes. It was one of the early Slavic polities and was situated mostly in Transdanubia region of modern Hungary, but also included parts of modern Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Austria.

Boris I of Bulgaria Bulgarian emperor

Boris I, also known as Boris-Mihail (Michael) and Bogoris, was the ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire in 852–889. At the time of his baptism in 864, Boris was named Michael after his godfather, Emperor Michael III. The historian Steven Runciman called him one of the greatest persons in history.

Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church Christian Orthodox-oriented denomination in the Czechia and Slovak republic

The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is a self-governing body of the Eastern Orthodox Church that territorially covers the countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Archbishop Rastislav of Prešov was elected by the Extraordinary Synod held on January 11, 2014, as the new primate. On December 9, 2013, the Synod removed Archbishop Simeon (Jakovlevic) of Brno and Olomouc from his position as Locum Tenens, and appointed Archbishop Rastislav in his place, an action against which Archbishop Simeon protested and which was deplored by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

Early Cyrillic alphabet Writing system developed in 9th century Bulgaria

The Early Cyrillic alphabet is a writing system that was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the late 9th century on the basis of the Greek alphabet for the Slavic peoples living near the Byzantine Empire in South East and Central Europe. The objective was to make it possible to have Christian service in Slavic tongue, instead of in Greek, which locals did not understand, and to bring Bulgarian subjects closer to the cultural influence of Christianity, the official religion of the Byzantine Empire. It was used by Slavic peoples in South East, Central and Eastern Europe.

Christianization of Kievan Rus

The Christianization of Kievan Rus' took place in several stages. In early 867, Patriarch Photius of Constantinople announced to other Orthodox patriarchs that the Rus', baptised by his bishop, took to Christianity with particular enthusiasm. Photius's attempts at Christianizing the country seem to have entailed no lasting consequences, since the Primary Chronicle and other Slavonic sources describe the tenth-century Rus' as firmly entrenched in paganism. Following the Primary Chronicle, the definitive Christianization of Kievan Rus' dates from the year 988, when Vladimir the Great was baptized in Chersonesus and proceeded to baptize his family and people in Kiev. The latter events are traditionally referred to as baptism of Rus' in Russian and Ukrainian literature.

Saint Naum Missionary to the Slavs

Saint Naum, also known as Naum of Ohrid or Naum of Preslav was a medieval Bulgarian writer, enlightener, one of the seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire and missionary among the Slavs. He was among the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic script. Naum was among the founders of the Pliska Literary School. Afterwards Naum worked at the Ohrid Literary School. He was among the first saints declared by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church after its foundation in the 9th century.

Svatopluk I of Moravia King of Moravia

Svatopluk I or Svätopluk I, also known as Svatopluk the Great, was a ruler of Great Moravia, which attained its maximum territorial expansion during his reign.

Rastislav of Moravia Duke of Moravia

Rastislav or Rostislav, also known as St. Rastislav, was the second known ruler of Moravia (846–870). Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks. Upon his initiative two brothers, Cyril and Methodius sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 863, translated the most important Christian liturgical books into Slavonic in his realm. Rastislav was dethroned by his nephew Svatopluk I of Moravia who handed him over to the Franks.

Christianization of Bulgaria

The Christianization of Bulgaria was the process by which 9th-century medieval Bulgaria converted to Christianity. It reflected the need of unity within the religiously divided Bulgarian state as well as the need for equal acceptance on the international stage in Christian Europe. This process was characterized by the shifting political alliances of Boris I of Bulgaria with the kingdom of the East Franks and with the Byzantine Empire, as well as his diplomatic correspondence with the Pope.

The male name Kiril is a common first name in the Orthodox Slavic world, in particular in Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Russia. It is also well known in Greece but in different forms like Kyriakos.

SS. Cyril and Methodius in Lemont Church in Lemont, United States

SS. Cyril and Methodius in Lemont - historic church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, located in Lemont, Illinois.

Christianity in the 9th century Christianity-related events during the 9th century

In 9th-century Christianity, Charlemagne was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor, which continued the Photian schism.

Christianity in the Middle Ages aspect of history

Christianity in the Middle Ages covers the history of Christianity from the Fall of the Western Roman Empire until the Fall of Constantinople (1453), which is usually taken to make the end of the Middle Ages in the History of Europe.

Clement of Ohrid Medieval Bulgarian scholar and saint

Saint Clement of Ohrid was a Bulgarian saint, scholar, writer and enlightener of the Slavs. He was one of the most prominent disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is often associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts, especially their popularisation among Christianised Slavs. He was the founder of the Ohrid Literary School and is regarded as a patron of education and language by some Slavic people. He is considered to be the first bishop of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, one of the seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire and one of the premier saints of modern Bulgaria. Saint Clement is also the patron saint of North Macedonia, the city of Ohrid and the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Christianization of Moravia

The Christianization of Moravia refers to the spread of the Christian religion in the lands of medieval Moravia.

Archbishopric of Moravia Ecclesiastical province

The Archbishopric of Moravia was an ecclesiastical province, established by the Holy See to promote Christian missions among the Slavic peoples. Its first archbishop, the Byzantine Methodius, persuaded Pope John VIII to sanction the use of Old Church Slavonic in liturgy. Methodius had been consecrated archbishop of Pannonia by Pope Adrian II at the request of Koceľ, the Slavic ruler of Pannonia in East Francia in 870.

Christianization of the Slavs

The Slavs were Christianized in waves from the 7th to 12th century. Though the process of replacing old Slavic religious practices began as early as the 6th century. Generally speaking, the monarchs of the South Slavs adopted Christianity in the 9th century, the East Slavs in the 10th, and the West Slavs between the 9th and 12th century. Saints Cyril and Methodius are attributed as "Apostles to the Slavs", having introduced the Byzantine-Slavic rite and Glagolitic alphabet, the oldest known Slavic alphabet and basis for the Early Cyrillic alphabet.

References

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  2. "Notable Lutheran Saints". Resurrectionpeople.org.
  3. In the 21st century this date in the Julian Calendar corresponds to 24 May in the Gregorian Calendar
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  5. 1 2 History of the Eparchy of Košice Archived 22 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine (Slovak)
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  8. "Egregiae Virtutis". Archived from the original on 4 January 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2009.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help) Apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II, 31 December 1980 (in Latin)
  9. Cyril and Methodius, Encyclopædia Britannica 2005
  10. Vita Constantini slavica, Cap. 18: Denkschriften der kaiserl. Akademie der Wissenschaften 19, Wien 1870, p. 246
  11. Chapter 18 of the Slavonic Life of Constantine Archived 15 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine , an English translation
  12. English Translation of the 18th Chapter of the Vita Constantini, Liturgy of the Hours, Proper of Saints, 14 February
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    • 1. Mortimer Chambers, Barbara Hanawalt, Theodore Rabb, Isser Woloch, Raymond Grew. The Western Experience with Powerweb. Eighth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education 2002. University of Michigan. p. 214. ISBN   9780072565447
    ...Two Christian brothers of Slavic descent, Cyril and Methodius, set out in about 862 as missionaries from the Byzantine...
    • 2. Balkan Studies, Volume 22. Hidryma Meletōn Chersonēsou tou Haimou (Thessalonikē, Greece). The Institute, 1981. Original from the University of Michigan. p. 381
    ...Being of Slavic descent, both of them spoke the old Slavic language fluently...
    • 3. Loring M. Danforth. The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. Princeton University Press, 1995. p. 49 ISBN   9780691043562.
    ...In the ninth century two brothers Cyril and Methodius, Macedonian educators of Slavic origin from Solun, brought literacy and Christianity to the Slavs...
    • 4. Ihor Ševčenko. Byzantium and the Slavs: In Letters and Culture'. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 1991. p. 481. ISBN   9780916458126
    ...63-68 (Cyril and Methodius were Slavs)...There remains that argument for Cyril's and Methodius' Slavic origin which has to do with the Slavic translation of the Gospels and...
    • 5. Roland Herbert Bainton. Christianity: An American Heritage Book Series. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. p. 156. ISBN   9780618056873
    ...Two missionaries of Slavic origin, Cyril (baptized Constantine) and Methodius, adapted the Greek alphabet and translated both the Bible and the liturgy into the Slavic tongue...
    • 6. John Shea. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. McFarland, 1997. p. 56 . ISBN   9780786437672
    ...Byzantine emperor Michael, on the request of the Moravian prince Ratislav, decided to send Slav priests as educators, he chose the Salonika brothers Cyril and Methodius...
    • 7. UNESCO Features: A Fortnightly Press Service. UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 1984. University of Michigan
    ...They may have been of wholly Slavic descent or of mixed Greco-Slav origin...
    • 8. The Pakistan Review, Volume 19. Ferozsons Limited, 1971. University of California. p. 41
    ...century in Salonika, then one of the largest towns in the Byzantine Empire. The brothers were of Slav origin...
    • 9. Balkania, Volume 7. Balkania Publishing Company, 1973. Indiana University. p. 10
    ...Cyril and Methodius not only lived among Slavs. ...of Slavonic, which they not only spoke and understood, but in which they also wrote—translated and composed—and for which they invented an alphabet, is proof of their Slav origin...
    • 10. Bryce Dale Lyon, Herbert Harvey Rowen, Theodore S. Hamerow. A History of the Western World, Volume 1. Rand McNally College Pub. Co., 1974. Northwestern University. p. 239
    ...brothers of Slavic origin, Cyril and Methodius, who, after being ordained at Constantinople, preached the Gospel to the Slavs...
    • 11. Roland Herbert Bainton. The history of Christianity. Nelson, 1964. p. 169
    ...Two missionaries of Slavic origin, Cyril (baptized Constantine) and Methodius, adapted the Greek alphabet and translated both the Bible and the liturgy into the Slavic tongue...
    • 12. Carl Waldman, Catherine Mason. Encyclopedia of European Peoples: Facts on File library of world history. Infobase Publishing, 2006. p. 752. ISBN   9781438129181
    ...There is disagreement as to whether Cyril and his brother Methodius were Greek or Slavic, but they knew the Slavic dialect spoken in Macedonia...
    • 13. Frank Andrews. Ancient Slavs'. Worzalla Publishing Company, 1976. University of Wisconsin - Madison. p. 163.
    ...Cyril and Methodius derived from a rich family of Salonica, perhaps of Slavic origin, but Grecized in those times. Methodius (815–885)...
    • 14. Johann Heinrich Kurtz, John Macpherson. Church History. Hodder and Stoughton, 1891. University of California. p. 431
    ...Born at Thessalonica, and so probably of Slavic descent, at least acquainted with the language of the Slavs,...
    • 15. William Leslie King. Investment and Achievement: A Study in Christian Progress. Jennings and Graham, 1913. Columbia University.
    ...This man and his brother Cyril became the Methodius and Cyril apostles of the Slavic people. These two brothers seemed to have been raised up for such a mission. They were probably of Slavic descent...
    • Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05, s.v. "Cyril and Methodius, Saints" "Greek missionaries, brothers, called Apostles to the Slavs and fathers of Slavonic literature."
    • Encyclopædia Britannica, Major alphabets of the world, Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets, 2008, O.Ed. "The two early Slavic alphabets, the Cyrillic and the Glagolitic, were invented by St. Cyril, or Constantine (c. 827–869), and St. Methodius (c. 825–884). These men were Greeks from Thessalonica who became apostles to the southern Slavs, whom they converted to Christianity.
    • Encyclopedia of World Cultures, David H. Levinson, 1991, p.239, s.v., "Social Science"
    • Eric M. Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, p.151, 1997
    • Lunt, Slavic Review, June 1964, p. 216; Roman Jakobson, Crucial problems of Cyrillo-Methodian Studies; Leonid Ivan Strakhovsky, A Handbook of Slavic Studies, p.98
    • V.Bogdanovich, History of the ancient Serbian literature, Belgrade, 1980, p.119
    • Hastings, Adrian (1997). The construction of nationhood: ethnicity, religion, and nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 126. ISBN   0-521-62544-0. The activity of the brothers Constantine (later renamed Cyril) and Methodius, aristocratic Greek priests who were sent from Constantinople.
    • Fletcher, R. A. (1999). The barbarian conversion: from paganism to Christianity. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 327. ISBN   0-520-21859-0.
    • Cizevskij, Dmitrij; Zenkovsky, Serge A.; Porter, Richard E. Comparative History of Slavic Literatures. Vanderbilt University Press. pp. vi. ISBN   0-8265-1371-9. Two Greek brothers from Salonika, Constantine who later became a monk and took the name Cyril and Methodius.
    • The illustrated guide to the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press. 1998. p. 14. ISBN   0-19-521462-5. In Eastern Europe, the first translations of the Bible into the Slavonic languages were made by the Greek missionaries Cyril and Methodius in the 860s
    • Smalley, William Allen (1991). Translation as mission: Bible translation in the modern missionary movement. Macon, Ga.: Mercer. p. 25. ISBN   978-0-86554-389-8. The most important instance where translation and the beginning church did coincide closely was in Slavonic under the brothers Cyril and Methodius, with the Bible completed by A.D. 880. This was a missionary translation but unusual again (from a modern point of view) because not a translation into the dialect spoken where the missionaries were. The brothers were Greeks who had been brought up in Macedonia.
    • 1. Philip Lief Group. Saintly Support: A Prayer For Every Problem. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2003. p. 37. ISBN   9780740733369
    ...Cyril was born of Greek nobility connected with the senate of Thessalonica, although his mother may have been of Slavic descent...
    • 2. UNESCO Features: A Fortnightly Press Service. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization., 1984. University of Michigan
    ...They may have been of wholly Slavic descent or of mixed Greco-Slav origin...
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  20. "Vir apostolicae vitae...sapientissimus vir" MGH Epist., 7/2, 1928, p. 436
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  22. "Seven Saints". Kashtite.com. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  23. As is customary, when one becomes a monk in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, one receives a new name.
  24. Bowlus 1995, p. 165-186.
  25. Goldberg 2006, p. 319-320.
  26. Житїе Меөодїя (Life of Methodius), title & chap. XVIII - available on-line Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  27. Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, (HarperCollins, 2000), 144.
  28. "In Pictures: Ohrid, Home of Cyrillic". Balkan Insight. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  29. Short Life of Cyril & Methodius. Translated by Ján STANISLAV: Životy slovanských apoštolov Cyrila a Metoda v legendách a listoch. Turčiansky Sv. Martin: Matica slovenská, 1950, p. 88. (Slovak)
  30. Encyclopædia Britannica, Major alphabets of the world, Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets, 2008, O.Ed. "The two early Slavic alphabets, the Cyrillic and the Glagolitic, were invented by St. Cyril, or Constantine (c. 827–869), and St. Methodius (c. 825–884). These men were Greeks from Thessalonica who became apostles to the southern Slavs, whom they converted to Christianity.
  31. Paul Cubberley (1996) "The Slavic Alphabets"
  32. Daniels and Bright, eds. The World's Writing Systems. Oxford University Press. ISBN   0-19-507993-0.
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  36. Announcement about the eleventh session of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia on 24 October 2006 from the official site Archived 10 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia (in Macedonian).
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  38. "День Св. Кирила та Мефодія, просвітителів слов'янських" (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Lutheran Church. 24 May 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
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Sources