Saint Brigid Religious Education
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West Hartford, CT 06110

St. Methodius

Feast day: February 14

Methodius was born in 826 in Thessalonica of a senatorial family of Greek nobility. He Studied at the University of Constantinople, and taught philosophy there. He soon became a priest. His brother was Saint Cyril. Cyril was also a priest and was sent to Constantinople to study, where he also became known as the Philosopher.

Methodius was 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, he was 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. They 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.

Methodius became a Bishop. He Evangelized in Moravia, Bohemia, Pannonia, and Poland. He Baptized Saint Ludmilla and Duke Boriwoi. He became the Archbishop of Velehred, Czechoslovakia, but was deposed and imprisoned in 870 due to the opposition of German clergy with his work. He was often in trouble over his use of Slavonic in liturgy, some claiming he preached heresy. He was always cleared of those charges. He translated the Bible into the Slavonic languages and pioneered the use of local and vernacular languages in liturgical settings. He died April 6, 885 at Moravia (Czechoslovakia).

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