Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saint Methodius Patron Saint of Europe

Also known as
Apostle of the Slavs; Apostle of the Southern Slavs
14 February
Brother of Saint Cyril. Greek nobility. Studied at the University of Constantinople, and taught philosophy there. Priest. Sent with Cyril by the emperor in 861 to convert the Jewish Khazars of Russia, a mission that was successful, and which allowed him to learn the Khazar's language. In 863, sent with Cyril to convert Moravians in their native tongue. Though some western clergy opposed their efforts and refused to ordain their candidates for the priesthood, they did good work. Helped develop an alphabet for the Slavonic language that eventually became what is known as the Cyrillic today. After initial criticism for their use of it, they achieved approval of the Liturgy in the Slavonic language. Bishop. Evangelized in Moravia, Bohemia, Pannonia, and Poland. Baptized Saint Ludmilla and Duke Boriwoi. Archbishop of Velehred, Czechoslovakia, but deposed and imprisoned in 870 due to the opposition of German clergy with his work. Often in trouble over his use of Slavonic in liturgy, some claiming he preached heresy; repeatedly cleared of charges. Translated the Bible into the Slavonic languages. Pioneered the use of local and vernacular languages in liturgical settings.
826 at Thessalonica
6 April 885 at Moravia (Czechoslovakia)
Patron Saint of Bohemia, Patron Saint of Bulgaria, Patron Saint of Czech Republic, Patron Saint of Czechoslovakia, Patron Saint of ecumenism, Patron Saint of Europe, Patron Saint of Moravia, Patron Saint of unity of the Eastern and Western Churches, YPatron Saint of Yugoslavia
with Saint Cyril; Oriental bishop holding up a church with Saint Cyril; Oriental bishop holding a picture of the Last Judgement

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