Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time & Saints Cyril and Methodius; St. Valentine, February 14,2017
Born in Thessalonica of a senatorial family, brothers Cyril and Methodius began a mission to Moravia (present-day Czech Republic) in response to the request of Prince Ratislav for a “bishop and teacher… able to explain to them the true Christian Faith in their own language.” Commissioned by the emperor at Constantinople, the Byzantine Greek brothers Cyril and Methodius undertook a mission to the Slavs in the ninth century. Accordingly, Cyril and Methodius set about translating the Scriptures into Old Slavonic language, using an alphabet devised by Cyril. After two successful years in Moravia (present-day Czech Republic), they traveled to Rome, where Pope Hadrian II approved the Slavonic liturgical books. Cyril died in Rome in 869 A.D. and Methodius continued in the missions, suffering imprisonment for two years by a neighboring German bishop until Pope John VIII intervened. Mthodius spent his final years creating the Nomokanon, a manual of Byzantine ecclesiastical and civil law. He died in 885 A.D. Saint John Paul II named Cyril and Methodius co-patrons of Europe, with Saint Benedict. The brothers’ service to the peoples at the meeting point of East and West made them “authentic precursors of ecumenism.”
Heavenly Father, We are mere human beings who struggle in faith, hope and love. We need to grow in our understanding of and, more importantly, in our intimate relationship and union with Christ. Lord enable us to open ourselves to the vastness of your love for us in Jesus. Give us the faith that remains constant as we journey back to our true home with You.
Dear Jesus, Help us understand who and what You are for us and to rejoice with You who conquered even death for us. Be with us as we walk with You in the situations and events of our lives. Help us to understand not just with our minds but with our hearts: that You are indeed the Lord of our lives. We humbly pray in your Name. Amen.
Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
When the LORD saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth,
and how no desire that his heart conceived
was ever anything but evil,
he regretted that he had made man on the earth,
and his heart was grieved.
So the LORD said:
“I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created,
and not only the men,
but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I made them.”
But Noah found favor with the LORD.
Then the LORD said to Noah:
“Go into the ark, you and all your household,
for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just.
Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs,
a male and its mate;
and of the unclean animals, one pair,
a male and its mate;
likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs,
a male and a female,
and of all the unclean birds, one pair,
a male and a female.
Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.
Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth
for forty days and forty nights,
and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth
every moving creature that I have made.”
Noah did just as the LORD had commanded him.
As soon as the seven days were over,
the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
The word of the Lord.
Ps 29:1a and 2, 3ac-4, 3b and 9c-10
R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection 1 – Watch out
The wide range of foolish things which we human beings can account for never ceases to astonish me. We destroy our bodies with controlled substances even though we know better. We choose to conform to what is wrong and what is of the world knowingly that they will draw us farther away from our God. We destroy our marital unions even our familial and friendly relations by continuing to focus on ourselves and utter disregard for the good of others. We only want to satisfy our lustful pride and seek pleasure for its own sake.
There is also the downright evil side of us, the lying, cheating, stealing and killing, the willingness to commit slander against people who do not belong to our inner circle and who seem to be at odds with us, the willingness to pursue power, fame and fortune at the expense of others, the willingness to turn our backs on the poor and the suffering.
All in all, between nonsense and downright evil, we all seem to fit into what we can call man’s wickedness, which made God regret that He made man on the earth and His heart be grieved by it. “When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved.” Genesis 6:5-6
Our Lord sends His message that even though we have been sinful in our ways there’s something more to us than all that. Remember, after God formed Adam’s body from clay, the story says that he breathed into Adam’s nostrils HIS OWN BREATH, meaning there is more to us than wickedness. There is something special in us. God’s own life is in us. God’s holiness is upon us. We were made for a special purpose and our Lord God will never allow any impediment to stop it. We have a faithful God Whose only concern is bring the godly and holy Character of His Son Jesus Christ to emerge in our lives. God has not only breathed his own breath into us and but He has taught us His ways so that our evil days may come to rest.
So when Jesus instructed His disciples, “Keep your eyes open! Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod,” He was not referring to them having forgotten to bring bread on the boat but a frustrated realization on the part of Jesus that His disciples never really understood who He was.
“Do you still not understand?”
We always believed that Jesus’ disciples were so close to Him and that they really comprehended Jesus’ in every way. But their actions and responses did not show any signs of being connected deeply with Jesus. They obviously had a long way to go!
We too may have a long way to go in letting Jesus into our lives and into our hearts. We are not far from the disciples who never really understood Jesus at that time, much more commit to Him.
Amidst temptation and weakness of our flesh and despite the goodness God poured on us, we may all give way to temptation and sin. The leaven Jesus was talking about in today’s gospel may penetrate our hearts and puff us up in arrogance. This is the reason Jesus wants all men to be on guard against the teachings and the skepticism of the Pharisees. He warns every man of every generation about the hypocrisy of His enemies which can likewise bring evil and sin into our hearts.
Jesus is once more repeating to all of us the very words he spoke to His disciples: “Do you still not understand?” Jesus is reminding us to live His life and follow Him. He wants to let us know that even with our sinful nature, our Heavenly Father loves us and that He will still provide for all our needs. He accepts us for who we are and not for who He wants us to be…He has forgiven us! “You, LORD, will not forsake your people, nor abandon your very own.” Psalm 94:14 The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Today, Jesus encourages us to transcend the world and its small concerns and worries and focus on Him, if we are to be victorious in His Name. To share in His resurrection, we too need to share in His cross!
Ask God for spiritual direction amidst the forces of the world that draw us away from Him.
Heavenly Father, bless your people with peace and allow us to stand in awe of your goodness as we place our hope in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Reflection 2 – Trusting God’s power
Have you ever worked with someone who liked power too much? Or have you ever had a boss who liked to put people in their place? The Jews and early Christians were subject to such authoritarian leadership under Roman Rule. Likewise, much power was given to the Jewish religious leaders for spiritual development, which some exercised by enforcing compliance to the many complex rules of the faith.
Strict direction may be warranted at times to keep civility among a distressed population. The Romans were constantly stopping riots protesting their occupation. But too often it became bullying for its own sake and oppressing those with just cause for complaint. As for the Pharisees, Jesus of Nazareth was not the first one to lead the Israelites away from Temple loyally. Sometimes the shift was to a more genuine commitment to the Lord. Other times, the people were led into idolatry and sin.
Both the Romans and the Pharisees were known for demanding high prices for their services and rendering little mercy to offenders. Perhaps this is what Jesus was pondering when he spoke to his disciples in the boat, saying, “guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Jesus was training his disciples to be spiritual leaders and warning them against the temptation to abuse power. Jesus rebukes the disciples for their fearful reaction and reminds them of God’s tremendous power and kindness. As an example, he asks them how many baskets were left over. He implies that when doing God’s work the outcome is perfect gift. With God there are no hidden conditions or excessive costs, unlike the common practices of the Pharisees and Herod.
James (Jas 1:12-18) brings the gospel notion of pure gift into perspective by charging us to not allow ourselves to get distracted by temptations, but to follow Gods light and goodness. In him there is no shadow or malice. In him we can trust. (Source: Jeffrey Trytko, Weekday Homily Helps. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, February 16, 2010).
Reflection 3 – Wipe it out before it multiplies
Antibiotics are the miracle of modern medicine. There are people in this church today who would not be here if it weren’t for this stupendous medication. Antibiotics actually change the DNA structure of infectious bacteria. When a bacterial infection threatens us, the antibiotics “neuter” the genes, denying the bacteria the chance to multiply. The bacteria eventually die out, and our system is restored to health.
Getting to the root of the things that threaten our health is what the readings are about today. A somewhat naïve God in the first reading (Gen 6:5-8; 7:1-5) is hoping to wipe out the lamentable “evil” in the human heart by starting from scratch. He picks the favored Noah to be the good seed that would change the reckless course of evil that was multiplying in the first attempt at creation. It’s certainly one way to tackle the problem.
In the Gospel (Mk 8:14-21), Jesus takes the opportunity of a loaf of bread to remind the disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees. He confounds the disciples with examples of the kind of leaven he himself was able to produce and multiply. In the process, Jesus showed the disciples that the leaven of the Pharisees needs to be counteracted. It’s subversive and it can grow, but so can the tremendous deeds of the kingdom of God. The leaven of the Pharisees was mistrust and a spreading resentment over what Jesus was doing in his ministry. Those subversive bacteria can grow and multiply. We see it in our own parish with short, pointed negative comments to other parishioners. Negative attitudes can overturn a parish like a bad flu season.
We have to change the DNA as soon as we encounter it. We need to nip the leaven in the bud before it multiplies. We need to multiply trust in our God and trust in one another. As vigilant as we are with bacteria in these days of soaps and sprays and lotions meant to keep bacteria from spreading, we need to be just as alert to Jesus’ warning that the leaven of distrust and doubt needs to be eradicated before it can spread and work its ugly and insidious consequences. (Source: John Petrikovic, OFM, Cap, Weekday Homily Helps. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, February 17, 2009).
Reflection 4 – Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod
Do you allow anxiety or fear to keep you from trusting in God’s provision for your life? The apostles worried because they forgot to bring bread for their journey. And that was right after Jesus miraculously fed a group of five thousand people (Mark 6:41-44, Matthew 14:17-21), and then on another occasion four thousand people (Mark 8:1-10, Matthew 15:34-38)! How easy it is to forget what God has already done for us and to doubt what he promises to do for us in the future as well. Scripture tells us that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Ask the Lord Jesus to fill your heart with his love and to increase your faith in his provident care for you.
Beware the “leaven” which corrupts mind, body, and soul
Jesus cautioned the disciples to beware of bread that corrupts, such as the “leaven of the Pharisees.” When leaven ferments a lump of wet dough, it transforms the dough and changes it into life-enriching bread when heated. Left-over dough which had been leavened (but not baked) would rot and become putrefied. For the Jew leaven was a sign or symbol of evil influence. It signified anything which rots and corrupts, not just physically but spiritually and morally as well.
Jesus warned his disciples to avoid the way of the Pharisees and Sadducees who sought their own counsels rather than the mind of God. They were blinded by their own arrogance and were unable to recognize the truth and wisdom which Jesus spoke in the name of his Father in heaven. What kind of leaven (spiritual, moral, intellectual) do you allow to influence your way of thinking and living? Jesus sharply contrasts the bread and leaven which produces life, especially the abundant life which God offers through Jesus, the true bread of heaven, with the bread and leaven which rots and corrupts mind, body, and soul.
Let God’s word nourish and strengthen you in faith, hope, and love
As the disciples continued to worry about their lack of physical bread for the journey, Jesus reminded them of his miraculous provision of bread in the feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand. He then upbraided them for their lack of trust in God. Aren’t we like the apostles? We too easily get preoccupied with the problems, needs, and worries of the present moment, and we forget the most important reality of all – God’s abiding presence with us!
When the people of Israel wandered in the desert homeless and helpless for forty years, God was with them every step of the way. And he provided for them shelter, food, water, and provision, as long as they trusted in him. Each day he gave them just what they needed. Jesus teaches us to trust in God’s abiding presence with us and in his promise to provide us what we need each and every day to live as his sons and daughters. Do you pray with joyful confidence, “Father, give us this day our daily bread”?
“Lord Jesus, you alone are the true bread of life which sustains us each and every day. Give me joy and strength to serve you always and help me to turn away from the leaven of sin and worldliness which brings corruption and death.” – Read the source: http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/feb14.htm
Reflection 5 – What flood are you trying to survive?
When I read the story of Noah’s cruise (today’s first reading), I like to think that if I had lived in those days I would have been one of those holy folks who made it onto the ark. However, there have been times when I’ve caused my own floods by turning away from God’s guidance while he was trying to lead me to the safety of an ark.
We all have our self-inflicted floods. We drown in pride or fear. We turn away from the ark that God is offering by using problem-solving methods that are not of God. We make choices based on how we feel instead of paying attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying in our spirit. We try to build easy lives in smooth valleys and assume that this home will never be deluged by too much rainfall.
God never ceases trying to guide us. He reaches out to us in scriptures, in our prayer time, in the homilies we hear, in the words of his people around us, and so on. But when we choose to do things in contrary ways, we create the clouds that rain on our nice valleys, and if we keep adding to the storm, it overwhelms us with a flood of problems.
Then we try to survive the storm by swimming, but we grow weary and start to sink in the stink of the ever-deepening waters of evil. We cry out for help, but if we only want to protect our precious plot of land in the valley, we’re not interested in the ark that would float us away from what has been familiar and comfortable and “ours” — and then we get angry at God as if it’s his fault that we’re drowning!
Whether it’s by our own fault or by external circumstances that we cannot control, Jesus says to us through today’s Gospel reading: “Do you still not understand?” He is the ark that the Father has provided. He is the Lord who will bless us with peace, whose voice calls out to us over the vast waters, as it says in the responsorial Psalm.
As we gulp for air, scared that the flood is overwhelming us, he asks: “Don’t you remember what I have done for you in the past?”
How has he rescued you before? He will do it again! What miracles did he use to meet your needs? He will do it again! How did he turn suffering and hardships into blessings? He will do it again!
Jesus is the ark that saves us. When we turn to him, regretting that we have not allowed him to lead us away from our comfort zone in the valley, sorry that we did not follow his example nor accept his advice — ZAP! Our remorse immediately plops us safely into the ark. We might still have a storm to ride out, but now we are safe. We are protected by his love and merciful forgiveness.
In today’s demoralizing world, environmental damage, wars and terrorist attacks, rampant immorality, anti-Christian agendas — and in your own personal crises: More than ever, keep your eyes on Jesus! – Read the source: http://gnm.org/good-news-reflections/?useDrDate=2017-02-14
Reflection 6 – Sts. Cyril and Methodius (d. 869; d. 884) & St. Valentine
Because their father was an officer in a part of Greece inhabited by many Slavs, these two Greek brothers ultimately became missionaries, teachers and patrons of the Slavic peoples.
After a brilliant course of studies, Cyril (called Constantine until he became a monk shortly before his death) refused the governorship of a district such as his brother had accepted among the Slavic-speaking population. Cyril withdrew to a monastery where his brother Methodius had become a monk after some years in a governmental post.
A decisive change in their lives occurred when the Duke of Moravia (present-day Czech Republic) asked the Eastern Emperor Michael for political independence from German rule and ecclesiastical autonomy (having their own clergy and liturgy). Cyril and Methodius undertook the missionary task.
Cyril’s first work was to invent an alphabet, still used in some Eastern liturgies. His followers probably formed the Cyrillic alphabet (for example, modern Russian) from Greek capital letters. Together they translated the Gospels, the psalter, Paul’s letters and the liturgical books into Slavonic, and composed a Slavonic liturgy, highly irregular then.
That and their free use of the vernacular in preaching led to opposition from the German clergy. The bishop refused to consecrate Slavic bishops and priests, and Cyril was forced to appeal to Rome. On the visit to Rome, he and Methodius had the joy of seeing their new liturgy approved by Pope Adrian II. Cyril, long an invalid, died in Rome 50 days after taking the monastic habit.
Methodius continued mission work for 16 more years. He was papal legate for all the Slavic peoples, consecrated a bishop and then given an ancient see (now in the Czech Republic). When much of their former territory was removed from their jurisdiction, the Bavarian bishops retaliated with a violent storm of accusation against Methodius. As a result, Emperor Louis the German exiled Methodius for three years. Pope John VIII secured his release.
Because the Frankish clergy, still smarting, continued their accusations, Methodius had to go to Rome to defend himself against charges of heresy and uphold his use of the Slavonic liturgy. He was again vindicated.
Legend has it that in a feverish period of activity, Methodius translated the whole Bible into Slavonic in eight months. He died on Tuesday of Holy Week, surrounded by his disciples, in his cathedral church.
Opposition continued after his death, and the work of the brothers in Moravia was brought to an end and their disciples scattered. But the expulsions had the beneficial effect of spreading the spiritual, liturgical and cultural work of the brothers to Bulgaria, Bohemia and southern Poland. Patrons of Moravia, and specially venerated by Catholic Czechs, Slovaks, Croatians, Orthodox Serbians and Bulgarians, Cyril and Methodius are eminently fitted to guard the long-desired unity of East and West. In 1980, Pope John Paul II named them additional co-patrons of Europe (with Benedict).
Holiness means reacting to human life with God’s love: human life as it is, crisscrossed with the political and the cultural, the beautiful and the ugly, the selfish and the saintly. For Cyril and Methodius much of their daily cross had to do with the language of the liturgy. They are not saints because they got the liturgy into Slavonic, but because they did so with the courage and humility of Christ.
“Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not involve the faith or the good of the whole community. Rather she respects and fosters the spiritual adornments and gifts of the various races and peoples…. Provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is maintained, the revision of liturgical books should allow for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, religions, and peoples, especially in mission lands” (Vatican II,Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 37, 38).
Patron Saint of: Slavic peoples
Read the source: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1291
SAINT OF THE DAY
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine
|BISHOP AND MARTYR|
|DIED||traditionally ca. 269 but see text|
|VENERATED IN||Catholic Church
Lutheranism, and individual protestant churches includingBaptist
|FEAST||February 14 (Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Churches)|
|ATTRIBUTES||birds; roses; bishop with acrippled or a child with epilepsyat his feet; bishop with a roosternearby; bishop refusing to adore an idol; bishop being beheaded;priest bearing a sword; priest holding a sun; priest giving sight to a blind girl|
|PATRONAGE||affianced couples, againstfainting, bee keepers, happymarriages, love, plague,epilepsy|
Saint Valentine (Latin: Valentinius), officially Saint Valentine of Rome, is a widely recognized third-century Romansaint commemorated on February 14 and associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love.
All that is reliably known of the saint commemorated on February 14 is his name and that he was martyred and buried at a cemetery on the Via Flaminia close to the Milvian bridge to the north of Rome on that day. It is uncertain whether St. Valentine is to be identified as one saint or the conflation of two saints of the same name. Several differentmartyrologies have been added to later hagiographies that are unreliable.
Because so little is known of him, in 1969 the Roman Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars. The Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize him as a saint, listing him as such in the February 14 entry in the Roman Martyrology, and authorizing liturgical veneration of him on February 14 in any place where that day is not devoted to some other obligatory celebration in accordance with the rule that on such a day the Mass may be that of any saint listed in the Martyrology for that day. Use of the pre-1970 liturgical calendar is also authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificumof 2007. Saint Valentine’s Church in Rome, built in 1960 for the needs of the Olympic Village, continues as a modern, well-visited parish church.
Saint Valentine is commemorated in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church. In parts but not all of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Valentine the Presbyter of Rome is celebrated on July 6 and HieromartyrValentine (Bishop of Interamna, Terni in Italy) is celebrated on July 30. Notwithstanding that in the Greek Orthodox Churches no Saint Valentine exists, and because of the relative obscurity of these two saints in the East, members of the Greek Orthodox Church named Valentinos (male) or Valentina (female) may observe their name day on the Western ecclesiastical calendar date of February 14.
The name Valentinus does not occur in the earliest list of Roman martyrs, compiled by the Chronographer of 354.But it is found in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, which was compiled, from earlier local sources, between 460 and 544. The feast of St. Valentine of February 14 was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among all those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.” As Gelasius implies, nothing was then known about his life.
The Catholic Encyclopedia and other hagiographical sourcesspeak of three Saint Valentines that appear in connection with February 14. One was a Roman priest, another the bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) both buried along the Via Flaminia outside Rome, at different distances from the city. The third was said to be a saint who suffered on the same day with a number of companions in the Roman province of Africa, for whom nothing else is known.
Though the extant accounts of the martyrdoms of the first two listed saints are of a late date and contain legendary elements, a common nucleus of fact may underlie the two accounts and they may refer to a single person. According to the official biography of the Diocese of Terni, Bishop Valentine was born and lived in Interamna and was imprisoned and tortured in Rome on February 14, 273, while on a temporary stay there. His body was hastily buried at a nearby cemetery and a few nights later his disciples retrieved his body and returned him home.
Other saints with the same name
The name “Valentine”, derived from valens (worthy, strong, powerful), was popular in Late Antiquity. About eleven other saints having the name Valentine are commemorated in the Roman Catholic Church. Some Eastern Churches of the Western rite may provide still other different lists of Saint Valentines. The Roman martyrology lists only seven who died on days other than February 14: a priest from Viterbo (November 3); a bishop from Raetia who died in about 450 (January 7); a fifth-century priest and hermit (July 4); a Spanish hermit who died in about 715 (October 25); Valentine Berrio Ochoa, martyred in 1861 (November 24); and Valentine Jaunzarás Gómez, martyred in 1936 (September 18). It also lists a virgin, Saint Valentina, who was martyred in 308 (July 25) in Caesarea, Palestine.
Hagiography and testimony
The inconsistency in the identification of the saint is replicated in the various vitae that are ascribed to him.
A common hagiography describes Saint Valentine, as the former Bishop of Terni, Narnia and Amelia, a town of Umbria, in central Italy. While under house arrest of Judge Asterius, and discussing his faith with him, Valentinus (the Latin version of his name) was discussing the validity of Jesus. The judge put Valentinus to the test and brought to him the judge’s adopted blind daughter. If Valentinus succeeded in restoring the girl’s sight, Asterius would do anything he asked. Valentinus laid his hands on her eyes and the child’s vision was restored. Immediately humbled, the judge asked Valentinus what he should do. Valentinus replied that all of the idols around the judge’s house should be broken, the judge should fast for three days, and then undergo baptism. The judge obeyed and as a result, freed all the Christian inmates under his authority. The judge, his family and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) were baptized. Valentinus was later arrested again for continuing to proselytize and was sent to the prefect of Rome, to the emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II) himself. Claudius took a liking to him until Valentinus tried to convince Claudius to embrace Christianity, whereupon Claudius refused and condemned Valentinus to death, commanding that Valentinus either renounce his faith or he would be beaten with clubs, and beheaded. Valentinus refused and Claudius’ command was executed outside the Flaminian Gate February 14, 269.
The Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Voragine, compiled about 1260 and one of the most-read books of the High Middle Ages, gives sufficient details of the saints for each day of the liturgical year to inspire a homily on each occasion. The very brief vita of St Valentine has him executed for refusing to deny Christ by the order of the “Emperor Claudius” in the year 280. Before his head was cut off, this Valentine restored sight and hearing to the daughter of his jailer. Jacobus makes a play with the etymology of “Valentine”, “as containing valour”.
A popularly ascribed hagiographical identity appears in the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493). Alongside a woodcut portrait of Valentine, the text states that he was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius Gothicus. He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner. However, when Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor, he was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stones; when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate. Various dates are given for the martyrdom or martyrdoms: 269, 270, or 273.
There are many other legends behind Saint Valentine, none of them based on historical facts. One is that in the 1st century AD it is said that Valentine, who was a priest, defied the order of the emperor Claudius and secretly married couples so that the husbands wouldn’t have to go to war. The legend claims that soldiers were sparse at this time so this was a big inconvenience to the emperor. Another legend is that Valentine refused to sacrifice to pagan gods. Being imprisoned for this, Valentine gave his testimony in prison and through his prayers healed the jailer’s daughter who was suffering from blindness. On the day of his execution he left her a note that was signed “Your Valentine”.
Churches named Valentine
Saint Valentine was not exceptionally more venerated than other saints and it seems that in England no church was everdedicated to him. There are many churches containing the name of Valentine in other countries.
A 5th or 6th century work called Passio Marii et Marthae made up a legend about Saint Valentine’s Basilica (it:Basilica di San Valentino) being dedicated to Saint Valentine in Rome. A later Passio repeated the legend and added the adornment thatPope Julius I (357–352) had built the ancient basilica S. Valentini extra Portam on top of his sepulchre, in the Via Flaminia. This church was really named after a 4th-century tribune called Valentino, who donated the land it’s built on.It hosted the martyr’s relics until the thirteenth century, when they were transferred to Santa Prassede, and the ancient basilica decayed.
English 18th-century antiquarians Alban Butler and Francis Douce, noting the obscurity of Saint Valentine’s identity, suggested that Valentine’s Day was created as an attempt to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia (mid-February in Rome). This idea has lately been dismissed by other researchers, such as Professor Jack B. Oruch of the University of Kansas, Henry Ansgar Kelly of the University of California, Los Angeles and Associate Professor Michael Matthew Kaylor of the Masaryk University. Many of the current legends that characterize Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love.
Oruch charges that the traditions associated with “Valentine’s Day”, documented in Geoffrey Chaucer‘s Parliament of Foules and set in the fictional context of an old tradition, did not exist before Chaucer.He argues that the speculative explanation of sentimental customs, posing as historical fact, had their origins among 18th-century antiquaries, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler’s Lives of Saints, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars. In the French 14th-century manuscript illumination from a Vies des Saints (illustration above), Saint Valentine, bishop of Terni, oversees the construction of his basilica at Terni; there is no suggestion here that the bishop was a patron of lovers.
During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds paired in mid-February. This was then associated with the romance of Valentine. Although all these legends may differ in ways, Valentine’s day is widely recognized as a day for romance and devotion.
Relics and liturgical celebration
The flower-crowned skull of St. Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.
In 1836, some relics that were exhumed from the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina, then near (rather than inside) Rome, were identified with St Valentine; placed in a casket, and transported to the procession to the high altar for a special Mass dedicated to young people and all those in love.
Also in 1836, Fr. John Spratt, an Irish priest and famous preacher, was given many tokens of esteem following a sermon in Rome. One gift from Pope Gregory XVI were the remains of St. Valentine and “a small vessel tinged with his blood.” The Reliquary was placed in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin, Ireland, and has remained there until this day. This was accompanied by a letter claiming the relics were those of St. Valentine.
Alleged relics of St. Valentine also lie at the reliquary of Roquemaure in France, in the Stephansdom in Vienna, in Balzan in Maltaand also in Blessed John Duns Scotus’ church in the Gorbals area of Glasgow, Scotland. There is also a gold reliquary bearing the words ‘Corpus St. Valentin, M’ (Body of St. Valentine, Martyr) at The Birmingham Oratory, UK, in one of the side altars in the main church.
Saint Valentine remains in the Roman Catholic Church’s official list of saints (the Roman Martyrology), but, in view of the scarcity of information about him, his commemoration was removed from the General Roman Calendar, when this was revised in 1969. It is included in local calendars of places such as Balzan in Malta. Some Traditionalist Catholics observe earlier calendars of the Roman Rite, in which Saint Valentine was celebrated as a Simple Feast until 1955, when Pope Pius XII reduced the mention of him to a commemoration in the Mass of the day, a position it kept in the General Roman Calendar of 1960 incorporated in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, use of which, as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, is still authorized in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI‘s 2007 motu proprioSummorum Pontificum.
February 14 is also celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day in other Christian Churches; in the Church of England, for example, it was included in Calendars before the Reformation, and S.Valentine, Bishop and Martyr, was restored to the Church’s Calendar in the 1661/1662 Book of Common Prayer. He remains in the Calendars of the Church of England and in those of most other parts of the Anglican Communion.
- Jones, Terry. “Valentine of Rome”. Patron Saints Tom. Archived from the original on April 1, 2010. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
- 6 surprising facts about St Valentine
- Calendarium Romanum Libreria Editrice Vaticana (1969), p. 117
- Martyrologium Romanum, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001, p. 141
- General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 355
- “Holy Days”. Church of England (Anglican Communion). 2012. RetrievedOctober 27, 2012.
February 14 Valentine, Martyr at Rome, c.269
- Pfatteicher, Philip H. (August 1, 2008). New Book of Festivals and Commemorations: A Proposed Common Calendar of Saints. Fortress Press. p. 86. ISBN 9780800621285. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
IO February 14 The Lutheran Service Book, with its penchant for the old Roman calendar, commemorates Valentine on this date.
- Martyr Valentinus the Presbyter and those with him at Rome. Orthodox Church in America website.
- “Hieromartyr Valentine the Bishop of Interamna, Terni in Italy”. oca.org.
- Glav. “Greek name days of the year 2015 – month of celebration : February”.Εορτολόγιο Ελληνικών Ονομάτων – Orthodox Greek Namedays.
- Roger Pearse, The Chronography of 354 in “Early Church Fathers online.Retrieved September 27, 2012
- “XVI kalendas Martii Interamnae Via Flaminia miliario ab Urbe Roma LXIII natale Valentini.” In J. B. de Rossi, p. 20 (XVI KL. MAR.). See also M. Schoepflin, p. 40:“the original text”.
- “CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Valentine”. newadvent.org.
- René Aigrain, Hagiographie: Ses sources, ses méthodes, son histoire, (Paris 1953, pp 268–69; Agostino S. Amore, “S. Valentino di Roma o di Terni?”,Antonianum 41.(1966), pp 260–77.
- Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 1983, p. 1423
- San Valentino: Biografia.. Diocese of Terni. 2009. English version, written probably after examining all previous sources.
- Martyrologium Romanum 2001, February 14, p. 141.
- “Saints A to Z: V”. Catholic Online.
- “Latin saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rom“. Archived from the original on September 6, 2012.
- Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001. Index, p. 768; Saint Valentina okay finep. 390.
- Castleden, Rodney, “The Book of Saints”. 2006
- “St. Valentine”. Catholic Online.
- Under the circumstances, the Emperor Claudius was a detail meant to enhance verisimilitude. Attempts to identify him with the only third-century Claudius,Claudius Gothicus, who spent his brief reign (268–270) away from Rome winning his cognomen, are illusions in pursuit of a literary phantom: “No evidence outside several late saints’ legends suggests that Claudius II reversed the policy of toleration established by the policy of his predecessor Gallienus“, Jack Oruch states, in “St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February”, Speculum 56.3 (July 1981),p 536, referencing William H. C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church (New York, 1967, p 326.
- Jack Oruch, “St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February”, Speculum 56.3 (July 1981 pp 534–565) p 535.
- Henry Ansgar Kelly, in Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine. 1986, p. 62, says: As Thurston has noted, no English church is known to have been dedicated to St. Valentine (Thurston, Butler’s Lives, 2:217). I should add that we have no record of a large number of churches in England.
- Ansgar, 1986, pp. 49–50
- Christian Hülsen, Chiese di Roma nel Medio Evo (Florence: Olschki, (On-line text).
- Henry Ansgar Kelly (1986). Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine. BRILL. pp. 58–63. ISBN 90-04-07849-5.
- Michael Matthew Kaylor (2006). Secreted Desires: The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde (electronic ed.). Masaryk University Press. p. footnote 2 in page 235. ISBN 80-210-4126-9.
- Jack Oruch identified the inception of this possible connection in Butler’s Lives of the… Saints, 1756, and Douce’s Illustrations of Shakespeare, and of Ancient Manner. See Oruch, “St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February”, Speculum56.3 (July 1981 pp 534–565).
- Oruch 1981:534–565.
- BN, Mss fr. 185. The book of Lives of the Saints, with illuminations by Richard de Montbaston and collaborators, was among the manuscripts that Cardinal Richelieubequeathed to the King of France.
- Shrine of St Valentine, Whitefriar Street Church, Irish Province of the Order of Carmelites
- “Radio Praha – Ostatky sv.Valentýna jsou uloženy na pražském Vyšehradě”.radio.cz.
- “Chełmno – miasto zabytków i zakochanych”. chelmno.pl.
- “Skull bits of St. Valentine in Chelmno”. Atlas Obscura.
- See February calendar listed here on the Church of England website.
- Johannes Baptista de Rossi et Ludovicus Duchesne, ed., Martyrologium Hieronymianum: ad fidem codicum adiectis prolegomenis. Ex Actibus Sanctorum Novembris, Tomi II, pars prior. Bruxellis 1894. lxxxii, 195 p. S. Valentinus, p. 20.
- De Voragine, Jacobus. The Life of Saint Valentine. In Legenda Aurea, compiled around 1275
- Thurston, Herbert. St. Valentine. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol.15. 1912.
- Hülsen, Christian. 1927. Le chiese di Roma nel medio evo: cataloghi ed appunti. Florence. CXV, 640 p. (On-line text).
- Thurston, Herbert. 1933. St. Valentine, Martyr. In Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Vol. II, pp. 214–217. New York . 409 p..
- Aigrain, René. 1953. Hagiographie: Ses sources, ses méthodes, son histoire. Paris 1953.
- Amore, Agostino. 1966. S. Valentino di Roma o di Terni?, Antonianum 41 (1966), pp 260–77.
- Kellogg, Alfred. 1972. Chaucer’s St. Valentine: A Conjecture. In Kellogg, Chaucer, Langland, Arthur. 1972, pp. 108–145.
- Amore, Agostino. 1975. I martiri di Roma. Roma, Antonianum, 1975. 322 p.
- Kelly, Henry Ansgar 1986. Chaucer and the cult of Saint Valentine. Leiden, the Netherlands. 185 p.
- Martyrologium Romanum 2001. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001, p. 141 (February 14). 773 p.
- In Search of St. Valentine. Scotsman.com blog, 14 February 2005.
- Oruch, Jack B. 1981. St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February, Speculum 56 (July 1981), pp 534–565.
- Schoepflin, Maurizio and Seren, Linda. 2000. San Valentino di Terni : storia, tradizione, devozione. Morena (Roma), 2000. 111 p.
- Paglia, Vincenzo. 2007. Saint Valentine’s Message. Washington Post, February 15, 2007.
- Saint Valentine: Biography. Diocese of Terni. 2009.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saints_Cyril_and_Methodius
|SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS|
|BISHOPS AND CONFESSORS; EQUALS TO THE APOSTLES; PATRONS OF EUROPE; APOSTLES TO THE SLAVS|
|BORN||826 or 827 and 815
Thessalonica, Byzantine Empire(present-day Greece)
|DIED||14 February 869 and 6 April 885|
|VENERATED IN||Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
|FEAST||11 and 24 May (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)
|ATTRIBUTES||brothers depicted together; Eastern bishops holding up a church; Eastern bishops holding an icon of the Last Judgment.Often, Cyril is depicted wearing a monastic habit and Methodius vested as a bishop withomophorion.|
|PATRONAGE||Unity between Orthodox and Roman Catholics
Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia, Czech Republic,Slovakia, Transnistria,Archdiocese of Ljubljana, Europe,Slovak Eparchy of Toronto, Eparchy of Košice
Saints Cyril and Methodius (826-869, 815-885; Greek: Κύριλλος καὶ Μεθόδιος; Old Church Slavonic: Кѷриллъ и Меѳодїи[more]) were two Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries who were brothers. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title “Apostles to the Slavs”. They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. 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 withBenedict of Nursia.
- 1Early career
- 2Mission to the Slavs
- 3Invention of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets
- 5See also
- 8External links
The two brothers were born in Thessalonica, in present-day Greece – Cyril lived from 827–828 and Methodius 815–820. Cyril was reputedly the youngest of seven brothers; he was born Constantine,but took the name Cyril upon becoming a monk in Rome shortly before his death, according to the “Vita Cyrilli” (“The Life of Cyril”). Methodius was born Michael and took the name Methodius upon becoming a monk at Mysian Olympus (present-day Uludağ), in northwest Turkey. 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 ofSlavic or Byzantine Greek origin, or both. The two brothers lost their father when Cyril was only 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 only a deacon until 867/868.
Missions in the Middle East
Cyril’s mastery of theology and command of both Arabic and Hebrew made him eligible for his first state mission. He was sent to the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil to discuss the principle of the Holy Trinity with the Arab theologians, and to improve relations between the Caliphate and the Empire.
The second mission (860), requested by the Byzantine EmperorMichael III and the Patriarch of Constantinople Photius (a professor of Cyril’s at the University and his guiding light in earlier years), was a missionary expedition to the Khazar Khaganate in order to prevent the expansion of Judaism there. This mission was unsuccessful, as later the Khagan imposed Judaism on his people as the national religion. It has been claimed that Methodius accompanied Cyril on the mission to the Khazars, but this is probably a later invention. The account of his life presented in the Latin “Legenda” claims that he learned the Khazar language while inChersonesos, 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.
Mission to the Slavs
In 862, the brothers began the work which would give them their historical importance. That year Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia requested that Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch Photius send missionaries to evangelize his Slavic subjects. His motives in doing so were probably more political than religious. Rastislav had become king with the support of theFrankish ruler Louis the German, but subsequently sought to assert his independence from the Franks. It is a common misconception that Cyril and Methodius were the first to bring Christianity to Moravia, but the letter from Rastislav to Michael III states clearly that Rastislav’s people “had already rejected paganism and adhere to the Christian law.”Rastislav is said to have expelled missionaries of the Roman Church and instead turned to Constantinople for ecclesiastical assistance and, presumably, a degree of political support. The Emperor quickly chose to send Cyril, accompanied by his brother Methodius. The request provided a convenient opportunity to expand Byzantine influence. Their first work seems to have been the training of assistants. In 863, they began the task of translating the Bible into the language now known as Old Church Slavonic and travelled to Great Moravia to promote it. They enjoyed considerable success in this endeavour. However, they came into conflict with German ecclesiastics who opposed their efforts to create a specifically Slavic liturgy.
For the purpose of this mission, they devised the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet to be used for Slavonic manuscripts. The Glagolitic alphabet was suited to match the specific features of the Slavic language. Its descendant script, the Cyrillic, is still used by many languages today.
They wrote the first Slavic Civil Code, which was used in Great Moravia. The language derived from Old Church Slavonic, known as Church Slavonic, is still used inliturgy by several Orthodox Churches and also in some Eastern Catholic churches.
It is impossible to determine with certainty what portions of the Bible the brothers translated. The New Testament and the Psalms seem to have been the first, followed by other lessons from the Old Testament. The “Translatio” speaks only of a version of the Gospels by Cyril, and the “Vita Methodii” only of the “evangelium Slovenicum,” though other liturgical selections may also have been translated.
Nor is it known for sure which liturgy, that of Rome or that of Constantinople, they took as a source. They may well have used the Roman alphabet, as suggested by liturgical fragments which adhere closely to the Latin type. This view is confirmed by the “Prague Fragments” and by certain Old Glagolitic liturgical fragments brought from Jerusalem to Kiev and discovered there by Saresnewsky—probably the oldest document for the Slavonic tongue; these adhere closely to the Latin type, as is shown by the words “Mass,” “Preface,” and the name of one Felicitas. In any case, the circumstances were such that the brothers could hope for no permanent success without obtaining the authorization of Rome.
Journey to Rome
In 867, Pope Nicholas I invited the brothers to Rome. Their evangelizing mission in Moravia had by this time become the focus of a dispute with Theotmar, the Archbishop of Salzburg and bishop of Passau, who claimed ecclesiastical control of the same territory and wished to see it use the Latin liturgy exclusively. Travelling with the relics of Saint Clement and a retinue of disciples, and passing through Pannonia (the Balaton Principality), where they were well received by Prince Koceľ(Kocelj, Kozel), they arrived in Rome in 868, where they were warmly received. This was partly due to their bringing with them the relics of Saint Clement; the rivalry with Constantinople as to the jurisdiction over the territory of the Slavs would incline Rome to value the brothers and their influence.
The brothers were praised for their learning and cultivated for their influence in Constantinople. Anastasius Bibliothecariuswould later call Cyril “a man of apostolic life” and “a man of great wisdom”.Their project in Moravia found support fromPope Adrian II, who formally authorized the use of the new Slavic liturgy. Subsequently Methodius was ordained as priest by the pope himself, and five Slavic disciples were ordained as priests (Saint Gorazd, Saint Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum) and as deacons (Saint Angelar and Saint Sava) by the prominent bishops Formosus and Gauderic. The newly made priests officiated in their own languages at the altars of some of the principal churches. Feeling his end approaching, Cyril became a monk, was given the new name Cyril, and died fifty days later (14 February 869). There is some question as to assertion of the Translatio (ix.) that he was made a bishop.
Methodius now continued the work among the Slavs alone; not at first in Great Moravia, but in Pannonia (in the Balaton Principality), owing to the political circumstances of the former country, where Rastislav had been taken captive by his nephew Svatopluk, then delivered over to Carloman, and condemned in a diet of the empire at the end of 870.
Friendly relations had been established with Koceľ on the journey to Rome. This activity in Pannonia made a conflict inevitable with the German episcopate, and especially with the bishop of Salzburg, to whose jurisdiction Pannonia had belonged for seventy-five years. In 865 Bishop Adalwin is found exercising all Episcopal rights there, and the administration under him was in the hands of the archpriest Riehbald. The latter was obliged to retire to Salzburg, but his superior was naturally disinclined to abandon his claims. Methodius sought support from Rome; the Vita asserts that Koceľ sent him thither with an honorable escort to receive Episcopal consecration.
The letter given as Adrian’s in chap. viii., with its approval of the Slavonic mass, is a pure invention. The pope named Methodius archbishop of Sirmium with jurisdiction over Great Moravia and Pannonia, thus superseding the claims of Salzburg by an older title. The statement of the “Vita” that Methodius was made bishop in 870 and not raised to the dignity of an archbishop until 873 is contradicted by the brief of Pope John VIII, written in June 879, according to which Adrian consecrated him archbishop; John includes in his jurisdiction not only Great Moravia and Pannonia, but Serbia as well.
Methodius’ final years
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The archiepiscopal claims of Methodius were considered such an injury to the rights of Salzburg that he was forced to answer for them at a synod held atRegensburg in the presence of King Louis. The assembly, after a heated discussion, declared the deposition of the intruder, and ordered him to be sent to Germany, where he was kept prisoner in Ellwangen for two and a half years. In spite of the strong representations of the Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum, written in 871 to influence the pope, though not avowing this purpose, Rome declared emphatically for Methodius, and sent a bishop, Paul of Ancons, to reinstate him and punish his enemies, after which both parties were commanded to appear in Rome with the legate.
The papal will prevailed, and Methodius secured his freedom and his archiepiscopal authority over both Great Moravia and Pannonia, though the use of Slavonic for the mass was still denied to him. His authority was restricted in Pannonia when after Koceľ’s death the principality was administered by German nobles; but Svatopluk now ruled with practical independence in Great Moravia, and expelled the German clergy. This apparently secured an undisturbed field of operation for Methodius, and the Vita (x.) depicts the next few years (873–879) as a period of fruitful progress. Methodius seems to have disregarded, wholly or in part, the prohibition of the Slavonic liturgy; and when Frankish clerics again found their way into the country, and the archbishop’s strictness had displeased the licentious Svatopluk, this was made a cause of complaint against him at Rome, coupled with charges regarding the Filioque.
Methodius vindicated his orthodoxy at Rome, the more easily as the creed was still recited there without the Filioque, and promised to obey in regard to the liturgy. The other party was conciliated by giving him a Swabian, Wiching, as his coadjutor. When relations were strained between the two, John VIII steadfastly supported Methodius; but after his death (December 882) the archbishop’s position became insecure, and his need of support induced Goetz to accept the statement of the Vita (xiii.) that he went to visit the Eastern emperor.
It was not until after Methodius’ death, which is placed on 6 April 885, that the animosity erupted into an open conflict. Gorazd, whom Methodius had designated as his successor, was not recognised by Pope Stephen V. The same Pope forbade the use of the Slavic liturgy and placed the infamous Wiching as Methodius’ successor. The latter exiled the disciples of the two brothers from Great Moravia in 885. They fled to the First Bulgarian Empire, where they were welcomed and commissioned to establish theological schools. There they devised theCyrillic script on the basis of the Glagolitic. Cyrillic gradually replaced Glagolitic as the alphabet of the Old Church Slavonic language, which became the official language of the Bulgarian Empire and later spread to the Eastern Slav lands of Kievan Rus’. Cyrillic eventually spread throughout most of the Slavic world to become the standard alphabet in the Eastern Orthodox Slavic countries. Hence, Cyril and Methodius’ efforts also paved the way for the spread of Christianity throughout Eastern Europe.
Methodius’ body was buried in the main cathedral church of Great Moravia. Until today remains an open question which city was capital of Great Moravia and therefore the place of Methodius’ eternal rest remains unknown.
Invention of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets
The Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets are the oldest known Slavic alphabets, and were created by the two brothers and their students, to translate the Bible and other texts into the Slavic languages.The early Glagolitic alphabet was used in Great Moravia between 863 (the arrival of Cyril and Methodius) and 885 (the expulsion of their students) for government and religious documents and books, and at the Great Moravian Academy (Veľkomoravské učilište) founded by Cyril, where followers of Cyril and Methodius were educated, by Methodius himself among others. The alphabet has been traditionally attributed to Cyril. That attribution has been confirmed explicitly by the papal letter Industriae tuae (880) approving the use of Old Church Slavonic, which says that the alphabet was “invented by Constantine the Philosopher”. The term invention need not exclude the possibility of the brothers having made use of earlier letters, but implies only that before that time the Slavic languages had no distinct script of their own.
The early Cyrillic alphabet was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire and later finalized and spread by disciples Kliment and Naum in the Ohrid and Preslav schools of Tsar Boris’ Bulgaria as a simplification of the Glagolitic alphabet which more closely resembled the Greek alphabet. It was developed by the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius at the Preslav Literary School at the end of the 9th century.
After the death of Cyril, Clement of Ohrid accompanied Methodius from Rome to Pannonia and Great Moravia. After the death of Methodius in 885, Clement headed the struggle against the German clergy in Great Moravia along with Gorazd. After spending some time in jail, he was expelled from Great Moravia, and in 885 or 886 reached the borders of the Bulgarian Empire together with Naum of Preslav, Angelarius, and possibly Gorazd (according to other sources, Gorazd was already dead by that time). The four of them were afterwards sent to the Bulgarian capital of Pliska, where they were commissioned by Tsar Boris I of Bulgaria to instruct the future clergy of the state in the Slavonic language.
After the adoption of Christianity in 865, religious ceremonies in Bulgaria were conducted in Greek by clergy sent from the Byzantine Empire. Fearing growing Byzantine influence and weakening of the state, Boris viewed the adoption of the Old Slavonic language as a way to preserve the political independence and stability of Bulgaria, so he established two literary schools (academies), in Pliska and Ohrid, where theology was to be taught in the Slavonic language. While Naum of Preslav stayed in Pliska working on the foundation of the Pliska Literary School, Clement was commissioned by Boris I to organise the teaching of theology to future clergymen in Old Church Slavonic at the Ohrid Literary School. For seven years (886-893) Clement taught some 3,500 students in the Slavonic language and the Glagolitic alphabet.
Saints Cyril and Methodius’ Day
The canonization process was much more relaxed in the decades following Cyril’s death than today. Cyril was regarded by his disciples as a saint soon after his death. His following spread among the nations he evangelized and subsequently to the wider Christian Church, and he was famous as a holy man, along with his brother Methodius. There were calls for Cyril’s canonization from the crowds lining the Roman streets during his funeral procession. The brothers’ first appearance in a papal document is in Grande Munus of Leo XIII in 1880. They are known as the “Apostles of the Slavs”, and are still highly regarded by both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians. Their feast day is currently celebrated on 14 February in the Roman Catholic Church (to coincide with the date of St Cyril’s death); on 11 May in the Eastern Orthodox Church (though for Eastern Orthodox Churches which use the Julian Calendar this is 24 May according to the Gregorian calendar); and on 7 July according to the old sanctoral calendar that existed before the revisions of the Second Vatican Council. The celebration also commemorates the introduction of literacy and the preaching of the gospels in the Slavonic language by the brothers. The brothers were declared “Patrons of Europe” in 1980.
According to old Bulgarian chronicles, the day of the holy brothers was celebrated ecclesiastically as early as the 11th century. The first recorded secular celebration of Saints Cyril and Methodius’ Day as the “Day of the Bulgarian script”, as traditionally accepted by Bulgarian history, was held in the town of Plovdiv on 11 May 1851, when a local Bulgarian school was named “Saints Cyril and Methodius”: both acts on the initiative of the prominent Bulgarian educator Nayden Gerov,although an Armenian traveller mentioned his visit to the “celebration of the Bulgarian script” in the town of Shumen on 22 May 1803.
The day is now celebrated as a public holiday in the following countries:
- In Bulgaria it is celebrated on 24 May and is known as the “Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day” (Bulgarian: Ден на българската просвета и култура и на славянската писменост), a national holiday celebrating Bulgarian culture and literature as well as the alphabet. It is also known as “Alphabet, Culture, and Education Day” (Bulgarian: Ден на азбуката, културата и просвещението). Saints Cyril and Methodius are patrons of the National Library of Bulgaria. There is a monument to them in front of the library. Saints Cyril and Methodius are the most celebrated saints in the Bulgarian Orthodox church, and icons of the two brothers can be found in every church.
- In the Republic of Macedonia, it is celebrated on 24 May and is known as the “Saints Cyril and Methodius, Slavonic Enlighteners’ Day” (Macedonian: Св. Кирил и Методиј, Ден на словенските просветители), a national holiday. The Government of the Republic of Macedonia enacted a statute of the national holiday in October 2006 and the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia passed a corresponding law at the beginning of 2007. Previously it had only been celebrated in the schools. It is also known as the day of the “Solun Brothers” (Macedonian: Солунските браќа).
- In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the two brothers were originally commemorated on 9 March, but Pope Pius IX changed this date to 5 July for several reasons. Today, Saints Cyril and Methodius are revered there as national saints and their name day (5 July), “Sts Cyril and Methodius Day” is a national holiday in Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the Czech Republic it is celebrated as “Slavic Missionaries Cyril and Methodius Day” (Czech: Den slovanských věrozvěstů Cyrila a Metoděje); in Slovakia it is celebrated as “St. Cyril and Metod Day” (Slovak: Sviatok svätého Cyrila a Metoda).
- In Russia, it is celebrated on 24 May and is known as the “Slavonic Literature and Culture Day” (Russian: День славянской письменности и культуры), celebrating Slavonic culture and literature as well as the alphabet. Its celebration is ecclesiastical (11 May in the Church’s Julian calendar). It is not a public holiday in Russia.
The saints’ feast day is celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Church on 11 May and by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion on 14 February as “Saints Cyril and Methodius Day“. The Lutheran Churches commemorate the two saints either on 14 February or 11 May.
Inauguration of the monument to Saints Cyril and Methodius inSaratov on Slavonic Literature and Culture Day
The monument in Ohrid
Opening of Cyril and Methodius monument inDonetsk
Statue, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Třebíč, Czech Republic
The national library of Bulgaria in Sofia, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia, and St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria and in Trnava, Slovakia, bear the name of the two saints. In the United States, SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan, bears their name.
Saints Cyril and Methodius are the main patron saints of the Archdiocese of Ljubljana. Ljubljana Cathedral stands at Cyril and Methodius Square (Slovene: Ciril–Metodov trg). They are also patron saints of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Košice (Slovakia)and the Slovak Greek Catholic Eparchy of Toronto.
The Basilica of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Danville, Pennsylvania, (the only Roman Catholic basilica dedicated to SS. Cyril and Methodius in the world) is the motherhouse chapel of the Sisters of SS. Cyril and Methodius, a Roman Catholic women’s religious community of pontifical rite dedicated to apostolic works of ecumenism, education, evangelization, and elder care.
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- Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius
- Byzantine Empire
- Glagolitic alphabet
- SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary
- SS. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje
- SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library in Sofia
- St. Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo
- Saints Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, Palacký University of Olomouc
|a.^||New Church Slavonic: Кѷрі́ллъ и҆ Меѳо́дїй (Kỳrill” i Methodij)
- In the 21st century this date in the Julian Calendar corresponds to 24 May in the Gregorian Calendar
- Jones, Terry. “Methodius”. Patron Saints Index. Retrieved 18 February 2007.
- History of the Eparchy of Košice (Slovak)
- Liturgy of the Hours, Volume III, 14 February.
- “Egregiae Virtutis”. Retrieved 26 April 2009. Apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II, 31 December 1980 (Latin)
- Cyril and Methodius, Encyclopedia Britannica 2005
- Vita Constantini slavica, Cap. 18: Denkschriften der kaiserl. Akademie der Wissenschaften 19, Wien 1870, p. 246
- Chapter 18 of the Slavonic Life of Constantine, an English translation
- English Translation of the 18th Chapter of the Vita Constantini, Liturgy of the Hours, Proper of Saints, 14 February
- 1. Mortimer Chambers, Barbara Hanawalt, Theodore Rabb, Isser Woloch, Raymond Grew. The Western Experience with Powerweb. Eighth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education 2002. University of Michigan. p. 214. ISBN 9780072565447
… Two Christian brothers of Slavic descent, Cyril and Methodius, set out in about 862 as missionaries from the Byzantine …
- 2. Balkan Studies, Volume 22. Hidryma Meletōn Chersonēsou tou Haimou (Thessalonikē, Greece). The Institute, 1981. Original from the University of Michigan. p. 381
… Being of Slavic descent, both of them spoke the old Slavic language fluently …
- 3. Loring M. Danforth. The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. Princeton University Press, 1995. p. 49 ISBN 9780691043562.
… In the ninth century two brothers Cyril and Methodius, Macedonian educators of Slavic origin from Solun, brought literacy and Christianity to the Slavs…
- 4. Ihor Ševčenko. Byzantium and the Slavs: In Letters and Culture’. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 1991. p. 481. ISBN 9780916458126
… 63-68 (Cyril and Methodius were Slavs) … There remains that argument for Cyril’s and Methodius’ Slavic origin which has to do with the Slavic translation of the Gospels and …
- 5. Roland Herbert Bainton. Christianity: An American Heritage Book Series. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. p. 156. ISBN 9780618056873
… Two missionaries of Slavic origin, Cyril (baptized Constantine) and Methodius, adapted the Greek alphabet and translated both the Bible and the liturgy into the Slavic tongue…
- 6. John Shea. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. McFarland, 1997. p. 56 . ISBN 9780786437672
..Byzantine emperor Michael, on the request of the Moravian prince Ratislav, decided to send Slav priests as educators, he chose the Salonika brothers Cyril and Methodius…
- 7. UNESCO Features: A Fortnightly Press Service. UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 1984. University of Michigan
… They may have been of wholly Slavic descent or of mixed Greco-Slav origin…
- 8. The Pakistan Review, Volume 19. Ferozsons Limited, 1971. University of California. p. 41
… century in Salonika, then one of the largest towns in the Byzantine Empire. The brothers were of Slav origin …
- 9. Balkania, Volume 7. Balkania Publishing Company, 1973. Indiana University. p. 10
… Cyril and Methodius not only lived among Slavs. … of Slavonic, which the not only spoke and understood, but in which they also wrote — translated and composed — and for which they invented an alphabet, is proof of their Slav origin …
- 10. Bryce Dale Lyon, Herbert Harvey Rowen, Theodore S. Hamerow. A history of the Western World, Volume 1. Rand McNally College Pub. Co., 1974. Northwestern University. p. 239
… brothers of Slavic origin, Cyril and Methodius, who, after being ordained at Constantinople, preached the Gospel to the Slavs…
- 11. Roland Herbert Bainton. The history of Christianity. Nelson, 1964. p. 169
…Two missionaries of Slavic origin, Cyril (baptized Constantine) and Methodius, adapted the Greek alphabet and translated both the Bible and the liturgy into the Slavic tongue…
- 12. Carl Waldman, Catherine Mason. Encyclopedia of European Peoples: Facts on File library of world history. Infobase Publishing, 2006. p. 752. ISBN 9781438129181
… There is disagreement as to whether Cyril and his brother Methodius were Greek or Slavic, but they knew the Slavic dialect spoken in Macedonia…
- 13. Frank Andrews. Ancient Slavs’. Worzalla Publishing Company, 1976. University of Wisconsin – Madison. p. 163.
… Cyril and Methodius derived from a rich family of Salonica, perhaps of Slavic origin, but Grecized in those times. Methodius (815-885) …
- 14. Johann Heinrich Kurtz, John Macpherson. Church History. Hodder and Stoughton, 1891. University of California. p. 431
.. Born at Thessalonica, and so probably of Slavic descent, at least acquainted with the language of the Slavs, …
- 15. William Leslie King. Investment and Achievement: A Study in Christian Progress. Jennings and Graham, 1913. Columbia University.
.. This man and his brother Cyril became the and Cyril apostles of the Slavic people. These two brothers seemed to have been raised up for such a mission. They were probably of Slavic descent …
- Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05, s.v. “Cyril and Methodius, Saints” “Greek missionaries, brothers, called Apostles to the Slavs and fathers of Slavonic literature.”
- Encyclopædia Britannica, Major alphabets of the world, Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets, 2008, O.Ed. “The two early Slavic alphabets, the Cyrillic and the Glagolitic, were invented by St. Cyril, or Constantine (c. 827–869), and St. Methodius (c. 825–884). These men were Greeks from Thessalonica who became apostles to the southern Slavs, whom they converted to Christianity.
- Encyclopedia of World Cultures, David H. Levinson, 1991, p.239, s.v., “Social Science”
- Eric M. Meyers, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, p.151, 1997
- Lunt, Slavic Review, June 1964, p. 216; Roman Jakobson, Crucial problems of Cyrillo-Methodian Studies; Leonid Ivan Strakhovsky, A Handbook of Slavic Studies, p.98
- V.Bogdanovich, History of the ancient Serbian literature, Belgrade, 1980, p.119
- Hastings, Adrian (1997). The construction of nationhood: ethnicity, religion, and nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-521-62544-0.
The activity of the brothers Constantine (later renamed Cyril) and Methodius, aristocratic Greek priests who were sent from Constantinople.
- Fletcher, R. A. (1999). The barbarian conversion: from paganism to Christianity. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 327. ISBN 0-520-21859-0.
- Cizevskij, Dmitrij; Zenkovsky, Serge A.; Porter, Richard E. Comparative History of Slavic Literatures. Vanderbilt University Press. pp. vi. ISBN 0-8265-1371-9.
Two Greek brothers from Salonika, Constantine who later became a monk and took the name Cyril and Methodius.
- The illustrated guide to the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press. 1998. p. 14. ISBN 0-19-521462-5.
In Eastern Europe, the first translations of the Bible into the Slavoruic languages were made by the Greek missionaries Cyril and Methodius in the 860s
- Smalley, William Allen (1991). Translation as mission: Bible translation in the modern missionary movement. Macon, Ga.: Mercer. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-86554-389-8.
The most important instance where translation and the beginning church did coincide closely was in Slavonic under the brothers Cyril and Methodius, with the Bible completed by A.D. 880. This was a missionary translation but unusual again (from a modern point of view) because not a translation into the dialect spoken where the missionaries were. The brothers were Greeks who had been brought up in Macedonia.
- 1. Philip Lief Group. Saintly Support: A Prayer For Every Problem. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2003. p. 37. ISBN 9780740733369
.. Cyril was born of Greek nobility connected with the senat of Thessalonica, although his mother may have been of Slavic descent …
- 2. UNESCO Features: A Fortnightly Press Service. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization., 1984. University of Michigan
… They may have been of wholly Slavic descent or of mixed Greco-Slav origin…
- The Lives of the Ninth-Century Popes (Liber Pontificalis)– Google Knihy. Books.google.cz. January 1, 1995. ISBN 0-85323-479-5. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
- Vizantiiskoe missionerstvo, Ivanov S. A., Iazyki slavianskoi kul’tury, Moskva 2003, p. 147 Cite error: Invalid
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- “Vir apostolicae vitae… sapientissimus vir” MGH Epist., 7/2, 1928, p. 436
- “Sv. Gorazd a spoločníci” [St. Gorazd and his colleagues]. Franciscan Friars of Slovakia (in Slovak). Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- As is customary, when one becomes a monk in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, one receives a new name.
- Житїе Меөодїя (Life of Methodius), title & chap. XVIII – available on-line
- Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, (HarperCollins, 2000), 144.
- Short Life of Cyril & Methodius. Translated by Ján STANISLAV: Životy slovanských apoštolov Cyrila a Metoda v legendách a listoch. Turčiansky Sv. Martin: Matica slovenská, 1950, p. 88. (Slovak)
- Encyclopædia Britannica, Major alphabets of the world, Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets, 2008, O.Ed. “The two early Slavic alphabets, the Cyrillic and the Glagolitic, were invented by St. Cyril, or Constantine (c. 827–869), and St. Methodius (c. 825–884). These men were Greeks from Thessalonica who became apostles to the southern Slavs, whom they converted to Christianity.
- Paul Cubberley (1996) “The Slavic Alphabets”
- Daniels and Bright, eds. The World’s Writing Systems. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507993-0.
- Egregiae Virtutis
- “История на България”, Том 6 Българско Възраждане 1856–1878, Издателство на Българската академия на науките, София, 1987, стр. 106 (in Bulgarian; in English: “History of Bulgaria”, Volume 6 Bulgarian Revival 1856–1878, Publishing house of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, 1987, page 106).
- Jubilee speech of the Academician Ivan Yuhnovski, Head of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, held on 23 May 2003, published in Information Bulletin of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 3(62), Sofia, 27 June 2003 (in Bulgarian).
- Announcement about the eleventh session of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia on 24 October 2006 from the official site of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia (in Macedonian).
- Votruba, Martin.