● Memorial Day Orthodox: February 14, May 11, July 17
● Name means: Cyrill/Cyrill: the glorious (Greek), Methodius: the ordinary (Latin-Greek)
● Monks, messengers of faith among the Slavs
● Born 826/827 in Thessaloniki in Greece
● Died on February 14, 869 in Rome
● Born around 815 in Thessaloniki in Greece
● Died on April 6, 885 in Weligrad in the Czech Republic
Constantine, also known as Cyril, was a highly intellectual man who dedicated his life to the
pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. From a young age, he displayed a remarkable aptitude for
learning, memorizing the poems of Saint Gregory the Theologian at the age of 14 and tirelessly
seeking out grammar lessons to deepen his understanding of their meaning. His reputation as a
prodigious intellect drew the attention of influential figures, who recognized his great potential
and brought him under their tutelage.
Among his teachers were Leon the Mathematician and Saint Photo the Great, both esteemed
scholars in their time. Constantine quickly mastered the higher sciences under their guidance,
impressing them with his tremendous intellect and passion for learning. He was ordained a
deacon and appointed head of the patriarchal chancery by Patriarch Ignarios, a position he held
briefly before retreating to the monastery of Kleidion on the Bosporus.
It was during this time that he and his brother Methodios were summoned to Moravia by Prince
Ratislaw of the Great Moravian Empire. The prince had requested that the emperor send a bishop
and teacher who could instruct his people in the Christian faith in their own language, as the
Frankish missionaries preaching in Latin had been unable to make significant headway. Michael
III declined to send a bishop, but promised to send men who could teach the doctrine of salvation
in the local language.
This duty fell to Constantine and Methodios, who were uniquely suited to the task. Constantine,
in particular, was proficient in a remarkable number of languages, including Bulgarian, Latin,
Hebrew, Samaritan, Old Syrian, Arabic, and Khazarian, in addition to his native Greek. He
developed an alphabet that could be used to write the Slavic language, which he had received in
a vision during his prayers. With this new tool and the aid of Methodios and several disciples of
Slavic origin, Constantine translated key religious texts such as the Gospel, the Divine Liturgy,
the Book of Hours, and the Psalter into the Slavic language.
Thanks to their efforts, the previously pagan and barbaric Slavic peoples were able to access the
teachings of the Christian faith in their own language, a breakthrough that earned Constantine
and Methodios the title of Holy Hierapostles. Their apostolic work was met with great success,
as the Slavic people enthusiastically embraced their teachings and came to be known as civilized
peoples who praised God in their own language. Today, their legacy lives on in the Slavic
liturgical traditions they helped to establish, making Constantine and Methodios enduring
symbols of intellectualism, scholarship, and spiritual devotion.