SAINT OF THE DAY: 07 JULY, 2013

saints_cyril_and_methodius

Saints Cyril and Methodius
Apostles to the Slavic Nations
(†ca. 867 and †ca. 887)

These two brothers were born in Thessalonica of a senatorial family. Saint Cyril was sent to Constantinople to study, where he became known as the Philosopher; but it was the Holy Church that he desired to serve, and he was ordained a priest.

While Cyril was still young, the Patriarch of Constantinople recommended in the year 848 to the reigning Emperor to place him at the head of a mission which was to be sent to the Khazars of the eastern Danube region.

Their king desired to learn of Christianity and had requested missionaries. Cyril asked for the time to learn the Turkish language which this people spoke, and after only a short while was ready to preach.

The prince of the Khazars received Baptism and the entire nation soon followed his example.

Cyril founded churches and furnished them with excellent ministers, then returned to Constantinople, refusing all presents offered him by his converts.

He was next missioned to Bulgaria with his younger brother Methodius, who was a monk of eminent sanctity.

This nation, which had migrated like the Khazars from the east, had settled in the Moldavian region and a part of Hungary; they had been exposed to Christianity by some Greek prisoners, and the sister of their king had become a Christian by the good offices of the empress Theodora.

When Saint Methodius, an excellent artist, was delegated to paint in the palace for the king, as he requested, a scene which could frighten the beholders, he chose for subject the Last Judgment.

The king was so impressed that after being instructed he was baptized, in 865, with forty-eight of his followers.

The nation followed their leaders after a brief revolt had been promptly quieted.

The two brothers preached also in Moravia, invited there by the pious king of that nation, whom they baptized with most of his subjects.

It was there that Saint Cyril invented a Slavonic alphabet, translating the Bible and other writings from Greek and Latin into the language of the Slavic peoples.

In 867 the missionaries went to Rome, where Saint Cyril, who was ill, died soon afterwards.

Saint Methodius was named bishop of Moravia and Pannonia or Hungary. Difficulties were not lacking, but he remained there until 880, when he returned to Rome to justify his conduct, which certain enemies had accused to the Pope.

The Pope cleared him before the adversaries, and settled some questions regarding the language to be used in worship. He permitted the Mass to be said in the Slavic language, not to the exclusion, however, of Latin.

Saint Methodius also baptized the king of the Bohemians, and again many of the king’s subjects followed his example.

The Saint lived for about 20 years after his brother’s decease; the exact date of his death is unknown.

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READING OF THE DAY: 07 JULY, 2013

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“At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.

He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.

Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.

Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another.

Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you,cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’

Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.

The seventy (-two) returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”

Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.

Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” -Luke 10:1-12.17-20.