Saints Cyril and Methodius

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 inCatholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion[1]
Lutheranism[2]
Feast11 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)
Attributesbrothers 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.
PatronageBulgaria, 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]

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.

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]

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).

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]

Other Languages
asturianu: Cirilu y Metodiu
azərbaycanca: Kiril və Mefodi
беларуская: Кірыл і Мяфодзій
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Кірыла і Мятод
български: Кирил и Методий
čeština: Cyril a Metoděj
hrvatski: Ćiril i Metod
Bahasa Indonesia: Sirilus dan Metodius
русиньскый: Кирил и Мефодий
slovenčina: Cyril a Metod
slovenščina: Sveti Ciril in Metod
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Кѷрїллъ и Мєѳодїи
српски / srpski: Ћирило и Методије
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kiril i Metod
українська: Кирило і Мефодій