Apostles of the Slavs

Cyril (Constantine)


Church of Ss. Cyril & Methodius


       Having been founded by a Ukrainian congregation, it was only fitting that the patron saints of our church would be the "apostles of the Slavs", Cyril and Methodius. The brothers were born in Thessalonica, modern-day Greece; Methodius was born in the year 826 and Cyril in 827. Having lost their father at a young age, their uncle, a powerful Byzantine official living in Constantinople became their guardian. Cyril studied at the University in Constantinople where he became a sought after teacher of philosophy. Despite his accomplishments, he preferred the monastic life, as did his brother Methodius. In 862 they were invited by Prince Rostyslav to spread Christianity in the Slavic language throughout Great Moravia. As part of this mission, Cyril composed a new 32 letter Glagolithic alphabet. The alphabet was suited to match specific features of the Slavic language. Cyrillic, named for its composer, is a modification of the Glagolithic alphabet with a closer resemblance to the Greek alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet is still used with modifications in a number of Slavic languages. The new alphabet inaugurated the rise of Slavic literatures. With the aid of Methodius, Cyril began translating the Gospels, the Epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, and the liturgical texts into the Slavic language. ("Saints Cyril and Methodius," Wikipedia) The brothers spent their time preaching to and converting the Slavic people until their deaths, Cyril in 869 and Methodius in 885.
       In recognition of their great works, they were declared patron saints of all Europe in 1980 by Pope John Paul II. The feast day of Saints Cyril and Methodius is celebrated by the Ukrainian Catholic Church on May 11 on the Gregorian Calendar.


"Saints Cyril and Methodius." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 4 December 2007. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 5 December 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodius_and_Cyril

Tradigo, Alfredo. Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Los Angeles:Getty Publications, 2006.