Today is the feast day of Saint Methodius, archbishop of Moravia

Photo: Saint Methodius, archbishop of Moravia

Holy Equal-to-the-Apostle Methodius, teacher of Slavic, and his younger brother Constantine - Cyril, were born in Macedonia, in the city of Thessaloniki, in a pious family. At first, Methodius, just like his father, did military service. The emperor, after hearing that he was a good soldier, made him the administrator of a Slavic district within the Greek state. After spending about 10 years as an officer, and knowing all the vanity of life, Methodius directed his will to the renunciation of everything earthly and directed his thoughts to the heavenly. Leaving the dukedom and all the comforts of life, he went to be a monk on Mount Olympus. After some time, his younger brother Constantine joined him in the monastery. When the Khazar king Kagan asked the king Michael for preachers of the faith in Christ, then at the king's command these two brothers were found and sent among the Khazars. Traveling, they found the relics of the priest-martyr Clement, Pope of Rome. After convincing Kagan of the faith of Christ, they baptized this king and a large number of his chieftains and an even greater number of people. In 862, at the request of the Moravian prince Rostislav, the king sent them to preach Christianity in Moravia, in the Slavic language. Saints Cyril and Methodius, by God's revelation, compiled the Slavic alphabet (verbology) and translated the Gospel, the Apostle, the Psalter and many other liturgical books into the Slavic language. They introduced the service in the Slavic language. The holy brothers were summoned to Rome by Pope Hadrian I, who received them with great honor, as they brought with them the relics of Saint Clement of Rome. In Rome, Cyril fell ill and died in 869. Methodius, on the other hand, at the request of the Slavic prince Kotzel, was sent to Pannonia, after Pope Adrian I ordained him bishop of Moravia and Pannonia. In that chair, Methodius suffered many inconveniences, including persecution and imprisonment, but he worked until his death to establish the faith of Christ among the Slavs. He baptized the Czech prince Borivoj and his wife Ludmila, as well as one of the Polish princes. In the last years of his life, Methodius, with the help of his students, translated the entire Old Testament into Slavic language, except for the Maccabean books, as well as the Nomocanon (rules of the holy fathers) and many paternal books. Methodius rested in the Lord on April 6, 885 at the age of about 60 years. He had predicted the day of his death. He was buried in the seat of Moravia, in Velegrad, in the cathedral church. His disciples, the Pentateuch, crossed the Danube and descended south into Macedonia, where from Ohrid they continued to work among the Slavs in the same work that Methodius and Cyril had begun in the north.

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