14 February 2008

Be Mine!

It's February 14th
and you know
what that means...

Will you be my
Cyril & Methodius?

These two Greek brothers from Thessaloniki brought the Gospel to the Slavs. Considered "equal-to-the-Apostles" in the Eastern churches (who celebrate their feast on May 24), they are the patron saints of Europe. Today is a public holiday in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Macedonia, and Slovakia.

The Slavic lands were a crossroads between East and West, and the brothers recieved the blessing of both Rome and Constantinople for their missionary work. Anothother thing to note is that the oldest Glagolitic liturgical fragments, brought from Jerusalem to Kiev, adhere more to the Latin form than the Byzantine. Many scholars argue that the first Slavonic Liturgy was Western, rather than Eastern (even "Western Rite" Orthodox claim this position). I bring this all up to celebrate these saints as representatives of the undivided Body of Christ.

Let us follow their example of evangelism by relating to the culture God sends us to. Rather than chocolate and flowers, I give you this Troparion in Tone 4:

O Cyril and Methodius, inspired by God, you became equal to the Apostles by your life. Since you were teachers of the Slavs, intercede with the Master of all That He may strengthen all peoples in the True Faith, and that He may grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls.

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