Missionaries (Ninth Century)
+ The brothers Cyril and Methodius were born in Greece and educated in Constantinople.
+ Sent by the patriarch of Constantinople as missionaries to the people of Bulgaria, they later traveled to Rome to give an account of their ministry to Pope Saint Nicholas I. They received great support for their mission and Pope Hadrian II approved the use of a Slavonic liturgy and translation of liturgical texts.
+ Saint Cyril died in Rome on February 14, 869, shortly after taking vows as a monk.
+ Methodius was consecrated as a bishop and continued their mission with great success, traveling throughout Moravia, Bohemia, Poland, and the Slavic Countries. Named archbishop of Velehred (in the modern-day Czech Republic), he is also credited with baptizing Saint Ludmilla, the grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus, who helped promote the Christian Faith in Bohemia.
+ Saint Methodius died in 883.
+ Following a decree of the Holy see, Saints Cyril and Methodius are honored as special patron saints of the unity of the Eastern and Western churches and as two of the patrons of Europe.
On this day, the Church also remembers the third-century priest and martyr, Saint Valentine, who is popularly honored as the patron saint of lovers.
“The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe, and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region.”—Acts 13:48-49
O God, who enlightened the Slavic peoples
through the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius,
grant that our hearts may grasp the words of your teaching,
and perfect us as a people of one accord
in true faith and right confession.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.