The Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs
Commemorated on February 14
Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs (named Constantine –
upon his assuming of the Schema), and his older brother Methodios (Comm. 6
April), were by descent Slavs, born in Macedonia in the city of Soluneia
(Thessalonika). Saint Cyril received the finest of educations, and from age 14
he was raised together with the son of the emperor. He early accepted the
dignity of presbyter. Upon his return to Constantinople, he worked as a
librarian of the cathedral church, and as a professor of philosophy. Saint
Cyril successfully held debates with iconoclast heretics and with Mahometans.
Yearning for solitude, he set off to Mount Olympos to his older brother
Methodios, but his solitude lasted only a short while. Both brothers were
dispatched by the emperor Michael in the year 857 on a missionary journey to preach
Christianity to the Khozars. Along the way they stopped off at Cherson and
discovered there the relics of the PriestMartyr Clement, Pope of Rome (Comm. 25
November). Arriving at the Khozars, the holy brothers spoke with them about the
Christian faith. Persuaded by the preaching of Saint Cyril, the Khozar prince
together with all his people accepted Christianity. The grateful prince wanted
to reward the preachers with rich presents, but they refused this and instead
asked the prince to free and send home with them all the Greek captives. Saint
Cyril returned to Constantinople together with 200 such captives set free.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.