by Parish Staff
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This past Thursday, February 14th, the secular world celebrated Valentine’s Day. However for us it was more important to celebrate the Feast of SS. Cyril and Methodius, our patron saints. I know that I have printed this article before, but I think that we need to remind ourselves every once in a while of who our patron saints are. This article was written by Sr. Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS for the February 2005 issue of Angel News.
“It is not often that we find two canonized saints in one family, but that is true of Saints Cyril and Methodius, two brothers who lived in the ninth century. And it is not often that we find saints for whom the composition of a written language was an essential component of their ministry, but that too, is true of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
“As young boys, kin addition to their own language, they had learned to speak the Slavic tongue. This would later prove to be an immense help to them in their missionary endeavors.
“Educated in Constantinople, both boys later became monks. Cyril was also ordained a priest, while Methodius remained a Brother for some years.
“In 862, the Moravian people were newly converted to Christianity. The duke of Greater Moravia wanted the people instructed in their own language and asked the Byzantine emperor for a Bishop, who would not be subject to the Franks. Cyril was chosen as Bishop and Methodius was appointed is co-worker.
“The brothers started from scratch since the Slavonic people did not have a written language. They created a Slavonic alphabet, and then using their newly written language, Saints Cyril and Methodius translated the Gospels and composed Slavonic books for liturgy.
“They arrived in Moravia in 863, the first missionaries who would teach the people and celebrate their liturgy in the Slavic tongue. The German missionaries, who had previously taught the Slavs in German, were angry at this development.
“Cyril and Methodius realized they needed to seek approval from Rome, and so, in 867, they traveled to the Eternal City and applied to the Holy Father for approbation. The Pope solemnly approved the Slavonic liturgy and ordained several young men (including Methodius) to the priesthood. He also ordained Methodius a Bishop. The liturgy was then solemnly celebrated in Slavonic in St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Saint Cyril died in Rome in 869. The Pope placed Moravia under his personal jurisdiction and sent Methodius back to continue his ministry as Bishop. Methodius translated other sacred books into the Slavic language and composed treatises on canon law for his people. Later he was appointed Archbishop of Moravia.
“Saint Methodius died in his cathedral in 884. He and Saint Cyril are now Called `The Apostles of the Slavic People. ’Their feast day is celebrated on February 14.”
I want to thank Sr. Kathleen for giving me permission to reprint her article. I should also point out that Pope John Paul ll named Saints Cyril and Methodius as the patron saints of Eastern Europe. If you would like to know more about these two great saints, you may want to Google their names see what you will find out about them.
So remember to pray to the brother saints and ask them to continue to look after this parish that bears their names. And you thought that it was only Valentine’s Day!
St. Cyril and St. Methodius made many personal sacrifices out their love for the Slavic people. They are true examples of how we should accept the love that Jesus has for us and then share or give that love away to others. They certainly changed the lives of the people with whom they came into contact.
Valentine’s Day is also a day that is supposed to remind us of the sacrificial love that we should have for each other. However, this love is not meant to be shown just on this one special day. The love that St. Cyril, St. Methodius and St. Valentine had is the same unlimited love that Jesus has for us. This is a love that is shown every day to every person that we meet. There was no limit to the love that Jesus has for us, and there should be no limit to the love that we have for each other. We all belong to the same Body of Christ!
Daily let us celebrate the Feast of SS. Cyril and Methodius and St. Valentine by taking to heart the love that they had in their hearts and make that the love that radiates from our hearts. I pray that the Lord Jesus will infuse our hearts with the love that exists in His Sacred Heart.
I love you,