This week there are only two saints on the calendar in the United States, St. Cyril, Monk and St. Methodious, Bishop. The Collect from the Mass on Tuesday, the Feast of St. Cyril and St. Methodoious:
“Father, you brought the light of the Gospel to Slavic nations through St. Cyril and his brother St. Methodius. Open our hearts to understanding your teaching and help us to become one in faith and praise. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
Brothers, Sts. CyrilÂ 827â€“869 and MethodiousÂ 827â€“885 are celebrated for brining the message of Jesus to the Slavic worlds, starting first with Morovia (current Czech Republic) inÂ 842. There until 856, they perfected the Cyrillic alphabet then translated both the bible and the liturgy.
In 867 the two brothers came to Rome, were met by Pope Hadrian II (867-872) and the whole papal court. They gave a report of their labors but encountered opposition on the part of jealous clergy who took offense, it was said, because of their liturgical innovations. Cyril and Methodius explained their methods and from the Pope himself received episcopal consecration (868). Soon after, Cyril died at Rome, only forty-two years old, and was buried in St. Peter’s; later his body was transferred to San Clemente, where his remains still rest. His funeral resembled a triumphal procession. (From catholicculture.org)
St. Methodious went back to Moravia and continued his mission of spreading the Gospel to the Slavic people. He was called back to Rome at some point to defend his use of the Slavic language during the liturgy. At that time, the Pope made him an archbishop and he returned to Moravia. There he continued to convert Slavic people, including the Duke of Bohemia and his wife. Legend has it that he travelled as far as Moscow and erected the diocese of Kiev. He returned to Bohemia and died in 885. When he was buried, the funeral liturgy was held in Latin, Greek, and Slavic.
They were made co-Patrons of Europe, along with (our beloved) St. Benedict of Norcia, by Blessed John Paul II in 1980.
To celebrate this great feast, you can: make (and feast on)Â Å¡panÄ›lskÃ© ptÃ¡Äky, Pierogi, dumplings or even an apple strudel. Also, take a moment to learn about the Slavic people and the persecution they experienced under Communism. Pray for the conversion of all Slavic people to the truth of the Gospel.
Sts. Cyril and Methodious are patrons of: Bohemia; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia; Europe; Moravia;Â Yugoslavia;Â ecumenism;Â and unity of the Eastern and Western Churches.