Saint Cyril

Saint Cyril

Saint Cyril (aka Kyrillos and Constantine the Philosopher, d. 867 CE) was a Byzantine linguist, teacher, scholar and missionary who famously preached Christianity to the Slavs in Moravia with his brother Methodius during the 9th century CE. He created the Glagolitic alphabet, the forerunner to the Cyrillic alphabet that bears his name, and did much to spread the religion, art and culture of the Byzantine empire into central Europe.

Early Life

Cyril is the monastic name the saint chose near the end of his life but he was born Constantine, the son of a military officer called Leo stationed in Thessaloniki; his mother may have been a Slav. He was a gifted linguist from an early age and was sent to Constantinople to further his education and study such languages as Syriac and Hebrew. Looked after by the eunuch Theoktistos, Cyril was ordained as a priest and served as an official at the Hagia Sophia church where he developed a close relationship with the Patriarch of Constantinople, the bishop Photios. The brilliant scholar quickly became the bishop's librarian. Cyril became a teacher of philosophy at the Magnaura university in Constantinople where he gained the epithet “Constantine the Philosopher”.

Cyril was next sent on two diplomatic missions, the first to the Muslim court at Samarra and the second to the Khazars, a Turkic tribe in the Caucasus, c. 860 CE. According to Cyril's 9th century CE biography, attributed to one of his disciples, the scholar monk was enthusiastic for the opportunity to spread the Gospel:

If you command, lord, on such a mission I shall gladly go on foot and unshod, lacking all the Lord forbade Hi disciples to bring.' The emperor answered, saying,: 'Well spoken, were you to do this [on your own]! But bear in mind the imperial power and honour, and go honourably and with imperial help.

Life of Constantine (in Shepard, 315)

Cyril, to facilitate his preaching to the Slavs, invented the Glagolitic script which used some letters from Hebrew & Greek.

The trip, unfortunately, ended in failure if it had intended to convert the Khazars to Christianity as the Byzantines only managed to baptise around 200 of them. The Khazaria state eventually adopted Judaism instead. Cyril did bring back souvenirs, though, said to be the relics of the exiled 1st century CE Bishop of Rome, Saint Clement. His ambitions were not dampened either as he promptly set off of his own accord into the Crimea to spread his message to the heathen Phoullai people. It is likely Cyril was not any more popular there, though, especially when he chopped down their sacred oak tree.

Mission to Moravia

Cyril was then selected by the Byzantine emperor Michael III (r. 842-867 CE) for a mission to Moravia (the modern Czech Republic and Slovakia) to spread the Christian faith. No doubt his ability to speak Slavic was a point in his favour and it would certainly come in useful. Prince Rastislav (r. 846-870 CE), eager to establish his own independent church using the Slavic language and ward off the encroaching Frankish Empire, had requested such a mission and Michael, happy to oblige, sent Cyril and his older brother Methodius in 863 CE, although neither held ecclesiastical office at the time. Michael was probably encouraged by Photios, the bishop of Constantinople, eager to keep pace with his great religious rival the Pope in Rome, who had himself just sent Frankish missionaries to the region. Indeed, although Cyril and Methodius have gained the reputation as the “Apostles to the Slavs”, they were by no means the first Christian missionaries to that people.

Cyril, to facilitate his preaching to the Slavs, invented, with some help from Methodius, the Glagolitic script which used some letters from Hebrew and Greek cursive writing to accurately capture the unique sounds of the Slavic language. The brothers had created the script before they even left home (the Slavic language having no written form previously) and used it to make translations of the liturgy of John Chrysostomos (Bishop of Constantinople from 398 to 404 CE), the Psalms of the Old Testament and the Gospels of the New Testament.

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How is it that you now teach and have created letters for the Slavs, which none have found before?

Methodius asks Cyril, Life of Constantine (in Herrin, 131)

Although he succeeded in setting up many new churches, unfortunately for Cyril, Frankish bishops in Moravia who were pushing the case for the rival western half of the Christian church opposed his missionary work at every step. Conservative church clergy were also against the holding of services (or even disseminating religious literature) in any language outside the traditional trio of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. The Frankish monks were steaming ahead with their Latin services to Slav congregations who understood not a word of the proceedings. Cyril and Methodius, meanwhile, were conducting theirs in Slavic, and in order to receive the blessing of Pope Adrian II, they held the mass in Latin first and then in Slavic.

As Cyril himself remarks on the importance of using local languages to communicate God's message:

We know of numerous peoples who possess writing, and render glory unto God, each in his own tongue. Surely these are obvious: Armenians, Persians, Abkhasians, Iberians, Sogdians, Goths, Avars, Turks, Khazars, Arabs, Egyptians and many others…Falls not God's rain upon all equally? And shines not the sun also upon all?

Life of Constantine (in Herrin, 133)

Death & Legacy

Cyril died in Rome in 867 CE on a mission to enlist the Pope's backing for his work in central Europe and to have some of his Slav disciples ordained. The traveller first presented the new pope, Hadrian II, with the relics of Saint Clement. The Moravians were then ordained and Slavonic scriptures donated to the church of St Maria and Praesepe. Cyril was buried in the shrine of San Clemente in the city.

The late missionary' s work was continued in Moravia by Methodius who went on to invent the Cyrillic alphabet (although it may have been created by his disciple Clement of Ohrid). This new writing, named in honour of Cyril, was derived from the Greek alphabet and was simpler than the rather intricate Glagolitic. A biography of Cyril was written shortly after his death, probably by his follower and fellow evangelist to the Slavs, Clement of Ohrid. The Cyrillic alphabet would itself inspire the script used in Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian.

Ultimately, the Moravians, pressured by the Franks, rejected the Byzantine church in favour of the western church. The favourable Rastislav had been succeeded by a less sympathetic ruler and Methodius and his followers were expelled from Moravia in 885 CE. Still, the experience gained by the missionaries and their library of translated texts were put to good use in their next port of call -Bulgaria, where Slavic was also spoken. Michael III pressed the case of Byzantine political and religious dominance there by assembling a menacing army on Bulgaria's border. The Bulgar ruler Boris was thus persuaded to favour the Byzantines and he travelled to Constantinople in 864 CE to be baptised in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor himself.


Assorted References

Cyril (originally named Constantine) had missionary experience with the Arabs and had been a professor of philosophy at the patriarchal school in Constantinople when he began to work with his brother Methodius, the abbot of a Greek monastery, for the conversion of the Khazars northeast…

Contribution to

…and diplomat, Cyril (originally named Constantine), and his brother Methodius (see Saints Cyril and Methodius). The brothers translated the greater part of the Bible and the essential liturgical texts into what must have been a Slavonic literary language of Cyril’s devising, based on the Macedonian-Slavonic vernacular of his native Salonika…

…century by Saints Cyril (or Constantine) and Methodius, was already available. Bulgaria, which had been Christianized a century earlier and had offered a home to the Cyrillo-Methodian community, became a conduit for the transmission of Greek culture, translated into Old Church Slavonic, to Russia, which in turn rapidly established its…

Cyril (or Constantine) and St. Methodius. Their mission to Moravia lasted only a few decades. Their disciples went to South Slavic regions of the first Bulgarian empire, including what are now Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, where in the 900s they constructed a new script…

…the missionaries led by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century.

Cyril and his brother St. Methodius to create a national church with a language and writing of its own. Prior to that time some Christian texts in Moravia might have been translated into Slavic from Latin (and partly perhaps from Old High German) those have…

…with the work of Saints Cyril and Methodius, who created a Slavonic alphabet and translated the Bible into the Slavonic language. Although their labours in Moravia were undermined by Frankish clergy, it was their achievement that made possible the faith and medieval culture of both Russia and Serbia.

…about 862 sent two brothers, Constantine (later called Cyril c. 827–869) and Methodius (c. 825–884), from Constantinople to Moravia. They provided Scriptures and liturgy in the mother tongue of each people evangelized and trained others in their methods. This missionary competition was repeated in Bulgaria when its khan, Boris I,…

History of

Balkans

…the Orthodox world two monks, Cyril and Methodius, devised an alphabet that enabled their disciples to translate religious texts into Slavonic. This new alphabet enabled the establishment of a liturgical and literary language of the Balkans, but it also meant that, with Greek remaining in use in commerce and in…

…by the work of Saints Cyril and Methodius, who had invented an alphabet in which to write the Slavic language (known as Old Church Slavonic or Old Bulgarian) and almost completed the translation of the Bible (most parts of both the Old and the New Testament) into the vernacular of…

…to be associated with Saints Cyril and Methodius, whose great achievement was the devising of an alphabet based on Greek letters and adapted to the phonetic peculiarities of the Slavonic tongue. In its later development as the Cyrillic alphabet, this came to be a distinctive cultural feature uniting several of…

…brothers from Thessalonica, Cyril (Constantine) and Methodius, to evangelize the Slavs. Michael encouraged Cyril and Methodius to preach in the vernacular, and to facilitate this task they invented a script using the phonetic peculiarities of the Slavic tongue. Initially known as Glagolitic, the script was subsequently revised to employ…

…two brothers of Macedonian origin, Cyril and Methodius, arrived from Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 863. They not only preached in a Slavic language, Old Church Slavonic, but also translated portions of the Christian scriptures into that language and used them in divine services. To Cyril is attributed the creation of…

…also invited the Byzantine missionaries Cyril and Methodius (who arrived in 863) to spread Christianity in Bohemia and Moravia on the basis of their Slavonic translation of the chief liturgical texts. After Svatopluk died (894), however, Great Moravia disintegrated and was finally destroyed by a Magyar attack in 906.

830 and consecrated by Saints Cyril and Methodius. Town privileges were acquired in 1248. The town’s dominant features are still the old fortification gate, above which the Zobor (a hill 1,929 feet [588 metres] high) rises to the north, and the medieval castle enclosure, which includes the cathedral.


Saint Cyril - History

In 1918 Detroit's first Slovak parish opened in a modest brick church at Heintz and Foster Streets. It was named SS. Cyril and Methodius to honor the two patron saints of the Eastern European Slavs . As more Slovaks moved to the area the parish's needs increased thus calling for the construction a larger facility. The oversight of this task was left to Father Joseph Zalibera, who would be pastor of St. Cyril for 39 years.

Zalibera required each member of the parish to "donate" a given amount based on their means. However, most members gave considerably more then this requirement. This generosity on part of the parishioners helps account for the building's elaborate design and decoration. On November 1st 1926 the first mass was celebrated in the basement cafeteria and 300 students were enrolled in the elementary school while work continued on the church itself. The main church building would not be completed until Christmas Eve Mass in 1929.

The completed building unified the elementary school and church as one massive structure. The Byzantine sanctuary occupied the center of the building while a four-story school wrapped around it. Below the sanctuary a massive gymnasium/auditorium completed the facility.

For over 40 years all went well and the parish continued to improve upon the church. A pipe organ was installed in 1936 and Centerline Street, on which the church sat was renamed St. Cyril Street. In 1945 work began on a parish high school. In the 1960's the sanctuary received a decorative update which included painting over the elaborate ceiling stencil-work with a sky blue paint.

The parish's fortunes turned in the 1970's. Both the elementary and high school closed in 1971. Migration to the suburbs was taking its toll. The Archdiocese recognized the need for a move and gave the ok for St. Cyril to relocate. In 1982 the parish purchased property in Sterling Heights far off on Ryan and Eighteen Mile Roads. The new church, an unimpressive structure when compared to its predecessor opened in 1988 and the last service at St. Cyril was held that December.

The old St. Cyril would hold on for a few more years. A Baptist congregation made use of the sanctuary until the late 1990's. By 2000 all of the parish buildings had been abandoned and were quickly "relieved" of their decorative ornament. By this time the building's fate had already been sealed. Gradually the depopulated neighborhood was being cleared for an industrial park. Between February and May of 2003 it was finally the ruins of the St. Cyril and Methodius date with the wreaking ball.

Source:
Make Straight the Path. Archdiocese of Detroit. Detroit, 2001.


Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

The crises that the Church faces today may seem minor when compared with the threat posed by the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ and almost overcame Christianity in the fourth century. Cyril was to be caught up in the controversy, accused of Arianism by Saint Jerome, and ultimately vindicated both by the men of his own time and by being declared a Doctor of the Church in 1822.

Raised in Jerusalem and well-educated, especially in the Scriptures, he was ordained a priest by the bishop of Jerusalem and given the task during Lent of catechizing those preparing for Baptism and catechizing the newly baptized during the Easter season. His Catecheses remain valuable as examples of the ritual and theology of the Church in the mid-fourth century.

There are conflicting reports about the circumstances of his becoming bishop of Jerusalem. It is certain that he was validly consecrated by bishops of the province. Since one of them was an Arian, Acacius, it may have been expected that his “cooperation” would follow. Conflict soon rose between Cyril and Acacius, bishop of the rival nearby see of Caesarea. Cyril was summoned to a council, accused of insubordination and of selling Church property to relieve the poor. Probably, however, a theological difference was also involved. He was condemned, driven from Jerusalem, and later vindicated, not without some association with and help from Semi-Arians. Half his episcopate was spent in exile his first experience was repeated twice. He finally returned to find Jerusalem torn with heresy, schism and strife, and wracked with crime. Even Saint Gregory of Nyssa, who was sent to help, left in despair.

They both went to the Council of Constantinople, where the amended form of the Nicene Creed was promulgated in 381. Cyril accepted the word consubstantial—that is, Christ is of the same substance or nature as the Father. Some said it was an act of repentance, but the bishops of the Council praised him as a champion of orthodoxy against the Arians. Though not friendly with the greatest defender of orthodoxy against the Arians, Cyril may be counted among those whom Athanasius called “brothers, who mean what we mean, and differ only about the word consubstantial.”

Those who imagine that the lives of saints are simple and placid, untouched by the vulgar breath of controversy, are rudely shocked by history. Yet, it should be no surprise that saints, indeed all Christians, will experience the same difficulties as their Master. The definition of truth is an endless, complex pursuit, and good men and women have suffered the pain of both controversy and error. Intellectual, emotional, and political roadblocks may slow up people like Cyril for a time. But their lives taken as a whole are monuments to honesty and courage.


Did the Church Fathers Practice Communion in the Hand? (Not Exactly)

T he recent post entitled “Five Tips for Receiving the Communion on the Tongue” received a over 9,000 visits in it’s first day up and many more after that. I never imagined that this single topic would generate so much interest on the internet.

Within the comments to the post, it was noted that there is evidence for “Holy Communion in the hand” in the writings of the early Church. Whenever I hear this argument, it bothers me because it does not provide the context for this situation in the early Church. It is true that Holy Communion in the hand did in fact happen. However, when we read the Patristic passages in context we discover the reason for why Holy Communion in the hand was tolerated. It was only allowed during times of Church persecution.

Let it be noted at the outset that St Leo the Great and St Gregory the Great are early witnesses to Communion on the Tongue as the normative. However, Saint Basil admits that Communion on the hand did happen. Saint Basil explicitly explains that Communion in the Hand was only allowed under certain circumstances :

“If <“if” denotes a conditional clause>one feels he should in times of persecution, in the absence of a priest or deacon, receive Communion by his own hand, there should be no need to point out that this certainly shows no grave immoderation for long custom allows this in such cases . In fact, all solitaries in the desert, where there is no priest, reserving Communion in their dwellings, receive It from their own hands.”

So then, Saint Basil says that Communion in the hand is allowed:

1) under times of persecution where no priest is present
2) for hermits and ascetics in the wilderness who do not have priests

He says that that Communion in the hand under any other circumstance is “grave immoderation.” Thus, the laity were allowed to hold and touch the Holy Eucharist with their hands in exceptional cases. This practice, says St Basil was not, however, the norm.

Let us now turn to the most controversial quote regarding Holy Communion in the hand. It comes from one of the five mystagogical (i.e. post-Easter) lectures ascribed to Saint Cyril of Jerusalem in about the year AD 350. We currently have 18 undoubted lectures from Saint Cyril given to his catechumens in preparation for Holy Baptism at Easter. Now then, there are an additional five mystagogical lectures allegedly given by Cyril to this same group of people – now his audience has been baptized, confirmed, and has received the Holy Eucharist. So the manuscripts preserving Saint Cyril’s catechesis go like this:

  • 18 Lectures for Catechumens preparing to become Christians
  • Easter initiation of this Catechumens
  • 5 Follow-Up Lectures for these Newly Baptized Christians

Anyway, here’s the classic “Communion in the Hand” passage from the fifth follow-up mystagogical lecture attributed to Saint Cyril:

“When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen.” (Catechesis mystagogica V, xxi-xxii, Migne Patrologia Graeca 33)

This is the passage on which the Patristic argument for Communion in the Hand stands or falls. Whereas there is this ONE alleged quote from St Cyril (the one just above from the disputed Catechesis mystagogica), there are many undoubted quotes by other Fathers that affirm Communion on the tongue (both “great” Popes Saint Leo the Great and Saint Gregory the Great) explicitly witness to Communion on the tongue. So why take the dubious quote when there are others to go by?

I want to add one more argument against the alleged Saint Cyril of Jerusalem passage listed above. The “make your hand a throne” passage goes on to say that the faithful should touch the Holy Body of Christ to their eyes before consuming it. Then it also says that the faithful should touch their lips still moist with the precious Blood of Christ and touch the Blood to their eyes.

Even if this passage is authentic (and I don’t think that it is), then Communion in the Hand should also include touching both the Holy Body and the Holy Blood to our eyes. Yet who wants to argue for this custom?!

I think that every Catholic would find this abhorrent. It is an aberration from holy tradition.

So then, it seems that the early Church administered Holy Communion on the tongue with the exception of the absence of a priest in times of persecution. If a priest were absent, then the faithful might not need to receive on the tongue.

Let me just add that I am by no means a Patristic expert and I’m very open to being corrected. I’m even more interested in any passages in the Church Fathers that support Communion in the hand as normative. So far, I’ve not encountered any such passages. The only evidence given is the quote quote from Saint Cyril about making your hand into a throne – and from what has been argued above, that argument is not convincing.

ad Jesum per Mariam,
Taylor Marshall

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem

"Make your fold with the sheep flee from the wolves: depart not from the Church," Cyril admonished catechumens surrounded by heresy. These were prophetic words for Cyril was to be hounded by enemies and heretics for most of his life, and although they could exile him from his diocese he never left his beloved Church.

Cyril's life began a few years before Arianism (the heresy that Jesus was not divine or one in being with the Father) and he lived to see its suppression and condemnation at the end of his life. In between he was the victim of many of the power struggles that took place.

We know little about Cyril's early life. Historians estimate he was born about 315 and that he was brought up in Jerusalem. He speaks about the appearance of the sites of the Nativity and Holy Sepulchre before they were "improved" by human hands as if he were a witness. All we know of his family were that his parents were probably Christians and he seemed to care for them a great deal. He exhorted catechumens to honor parents "for however much we may repay them, yet we can never be to them what they as parents have been to us." We know he also had a sister and a nephew, Gelasius, who became a bishop and a saint.

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He speaks as one who belonged to a group called the Solitaries. These were men who lived in their own houses in the cities but practiced a life of complete chastity, ascetism, and service.

After being ordained a deacon and then a priest, his bishop Saint Maximus respected him enough to put him in charge of the instruction of catechumens. We still have these catechetical lectures of Cyril's that were written down by someone in the congregation. When speaking of so many mysteries, Cyril anticipated the question, "But some one will say, If the Divine substance is incomprehensible, why then do you discourse of these things? So then, because I cannot drink up all the river, am I not even to take in moderation what is expedient for me? Because with eyes so constituted as mine I cannot take in all the sun, am I not even to look upon it enough to satisfy my wants? Or again, because I have entered into a great garden, and cannot eat all the supply of fruits, would you have me go away altogether hungry. I am attempting now to glorify the Lord, but not to describe him, knowing nevertheless that I shall fall short of glorifying God worthily, yet deeming it a work of piety even to attempt it at all."

When Maximus died, Cyril was consecrated as bishop of Jerusalem. Because he was supported by the Arian bishop of Caesarea, Acacius, the orthodox criticized the appointment and the Arians thought they had a friend. Both factions were wrong, but Cyril wound up in the middle.

When a famine hit Jerusalem, the poor turned to Cyril for help. Cyril, seeing the poor starving to death and having no money, sold some of the goods of the churches. This was something that other saints including Ambrose and Augustine had done and it probably saved many lives. There were rumors, however, that some of the vestments wound up as clothing for actors.

Actually, the initial cause of the falling out between Acacius and Cyril was territory not beliefs. As bishop of Caesarea, Acacia had authority over all the bishops of Palestine. Cyril argued that his authority did not include Jerusalem because Jerusalem was an "apostolic see" -- one of the original sees set up by the apostles. When Cyril did not appear at councils that Acacius called, Acacius accused him of selling church goods to raise money and had him banished.

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Cyril stayed in Tarsus while waiting for an appeal. Constantius called a council where the appeal was supposed to take place. The council consisted of orthodox, Arians, and semi-Arian bishops. When Acacius and his faction saw that Cyril and other exiled orthodox bishops were attending, they demanded that the persecuted bishops leave. Acacius walked out when the demand was not met. The other bishops prevailed on Cyril and the others to give in to this point because they didn't want Acacius to have reason to deny the validity of the council. Acacius returned but left again for good when his creed was rejected -- and refused to come back even to give testimony against his enemy Cyril. The result of the council was the Acacius and the other Arian bishops were condemned. There's no final judgment on Cyril's case but it was probably thrown out when Acacius refused to testify and Cyril returned to Jerusalem.

This was not the end of Cyril's troubles because Acacius carried his story to the emperor -- embellishing it with details that it was a gift of the emperor's that was sold to a dancer who died wearing the robe. This brought about a new synod run by Acacius who now had him banished again on the basis of what some bishops of Tarsus had done while Cyril was there.

This exile lasted until Julian became emperor and recalled all exiled bishops, orthodox or Arian. Some said this was to exacerbate tension in the Church and increase his imperial power. So Cyril returned to Jerusalem. When Acacius died, each faction nominated their own replacement for Caesarea. Cyril appointed his nephew Gelasius -- which may seem like nepotism, except that all orthodox sources spoke of Gelasius' holiness. A year later both Cyril and Gelasius were driven out of Palestine again as the new emperor's consul reversed Julian's ruling.

Eleven years later, Cyril was allowed to go back to find a Jerusalem destroyed by heresy and strife. He was never able to put things completely right. He did attend the Council at Constantinople in 381 where the Nicene Creed and orthodoxy triumphed and Arianism was finally condemned. Cyril received justice at the same Council who cleared him of all previous rumors and commended him for fighting "a good fight in various places against the Arians."

Cyril had eight years of peace in Jerusalem before he died in 386, at about seventy years old.


St Cyril of Alexandria Life History

St. Cyril of Alexandria was born at Alexandria, Egypt. ST. CYRIL became Patriarch of Alexandria in 412.

In 428, Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, began to deny the unity of Person in Christ, and to refuse to the Blessed Virgin the title of “Mother of God.” He was strongly supported by disciples and friends throughout the East. As the assertion of the divine maternity of Our Lady was necessary to the integrity of the doctrine of the Incarnation, so, with St. Cyril, devotion to the Mother was the necessary complement of his devotion to the Son.

In 431, Syrians and Nestorians excommunicated St. Cyril, and complained of him to the emperor as a peace-breaker.

Imprisoned and threatened with banishment, the Saint rejoiced to confess Christ by suffering. In time it was recognized that St. Cyril was right, and with him the Church triumphed.

Forgetting his wrongs, and careless of controversial punctilio, Cyril then reconciled himself with all who would consent to hold the doctrine of the Incarnation intact. He died in 444.


Cyril, St

Cyril, St (d. 444). Patriarch of Alexandria from 412, and church father. His career after c.430 was dominated by the controversy over church authority (he drove out schismatic followers of Novatian), christology, and specifically by his opposition to Nestorius. The Neoplatonist philosopher, Hypatia, was murdered by the mob, possibly at Cyril's instigation. The episode evoked a novel by Charles Kingsley. In the E. he is ‘the Seal of the Fathers’, in the W. a doctor of the Church (since 1882).

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History Of Macedonia

All neutral sources mention that the two brothers had Greek names (we are keeping in mind Cyril was baptised as konstantinos), they were members of a noble family, their father Leon was a Greek military man and their mother of slavic background. Furthermore both brothers were born in Thessaloniki, were educated in Konstantinople where they took a highly Byzantine education and lived all their lives into Byzantine Empire apart from the fact they were send out on missions to bring christianity to various regions. We can find the following evidence from records of their Greek conscience on the Honorary Volume to Cyrillos and Methodios for the 1100 years, Thessaloniki-1968 by Henriette Ozanne. For example, the below for Cyrillos: In his dialog with the Muslims, he points out that “…every science stem from us…” implying the Greeks and the Greek culture . During the Hazars’ mission, the hagan of the Hazars asked him what present he wished to have offered to him and he said “…Give me all the Greek prisoners of war you have here. They are more valuable to me than any other present…” – Scientif Annals of the Theology Faculty of the Thessaloniki University (1968) Also many non-Greeks accept that the 2 brothers were Greeks: The Slav Pope John Paul II who in 31/12/1980 (in an official encyclical-Egregiae Virtutis-to the Catholic Church) and 14/2/1981(in the S.Clement church in Rome) said that Cyrillos and Methodios were “Greek brothers, born in Thessaloniki” the Serb historian V.Bogdanovich, says that “Kyrillos and Methodios were born in Thessaloniki and were Greeks in origin, not Slavs” ( History of the ancient Serbian literature, Belgrade 1980, pg.119 ). To anyone that has no ties with blind nationalism, it seems to be no doubt that Cyrill and Methodius were Greek, not only by birth but most importantly culturally as it was analyzed above. As it is known both Cyrill and Methodius played probably one of the most important roles in spreading Orthodoxy among the Slavic population. Hence they were named “Apostles of the Slavs“, having the meaning simply that they brought the Christian faith to the Slavs. I have to underline here of the false notion some have about the title “Apostle“. Fact is that having spread Christian faith among a certain population doesnt mean that they belong ethnically to any of the people they converted. If we followed this flawed logic Khazars would also claim them as Khazars since they went to covert them to Christianity even before they went to the Slavs or even Arabs since Konstantinos undertook a mission to the Arabs.

One of the many examples is the story of Saint Boniface. Saint Boniface – original name Winfrid or Wynfrith – was born at Crediton in Devon, England and was sent to propagate Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. Rightfully Saint Boniface was named as “Apostle of the Germans” and another example is St.Thomas who is called “the Indian Apostle,” but we all know that he was not an Indian. Instead he simply brought Christianity to the Indians. Neither Germans nor Indians are upon the tiresome and flawed notion of claiming St Boniface and St Thomas ethnicities as the well-known propagandists do.
Professors Ivan Lazaroff, Plamen Pavloff, Ivan Tyutyundzijeff and Milko Palangurski of the Faculty of History of Sts. Cyril and Methodius University in Veliko Tŭrnovo, Bulgariain their book, Kratka istoriya na bŭlgarskiya narod (Short History of the Bulgarian Nation, pp 36-38), state very explicitly that the two brothers were Hellenes (Greeks) from Thessaloniki.

The late Oscar Halecki, Professor of Eastern European History, in his book Borderlands of Western Civilization, A History of East Central Europe (chapter Moravian State and the Apostles of the Slavs) agrees with the authors of Kratka istoriya na bŭlgarskiya narod.

As you see the real scholars and not the fake admit the historical truth.

Also according Pope John Paul II in an official apostolic homily to the entire Catholic Church proclaimed that Methodius and Cyril “Greek brethren born in Thessaloniki” are consecrated as “heavenly protectors of Europe”. John Paul II’ repeated this statement in a speech delivered in the church of Saint Clements, in Rome.
References from books about the ethnicity of Cyril and Methodius.
1.

Then in the ninth century Cyril and Methodius, two Greek monks from Thessaloniki , developed the Cyrillic alphabet and spread both literacy and Christianity to the Slavs.


“The macedonian conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a transnational world” by Loring Danforth
2.

Two Greek brothers from Salonika , Constantine, who later later became a monk and took
the name Cyril, and Methodius came to Great Moravia in 863 at the invitation of the Moravian Prince Rostislav


“Comparative history of Slavic Literatures” by Dmitrij Cizevskij, page vi
3.

the Byzantine court entrusted it to two brothers with wide experience o missionary work: Constantine the Philosopher, better known by his monastic name, Cyril and Methodius. Cyril and Methodius were Greeks.


“Czechoslovakian Miniatures from Romanesque and Gothic Manuscripts” by Jan Kvet, p. 6

In answer to this appeal the emperor sent the two brothers Cyril and Methodius, who were Greeks of Salonika and had considerable knowledge of Slavonic languages.


The Balkans: A history of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Rumania, Turkey (1916)” by Forbes, Nevil, p. 21
5.

In order to convert the Slavs to Christianity, Greek missionaries Cyril and Methodius learned the language.


“Lonely Planet Croatia” by Jeanne Oliver, P.35
6.

two brothers, the Apostles of the Sclavonians or Slavs, born in Greece and educated in Constantinople.


“Book of the Saints 1921″ by Monks Benedictine, P. 74
7.

Cyril, St 827-69 and Methodius, St 826-85, known as the Apostles of the Slavs – Greek Christian missionaries– They were born in Thessalonica.


“The Riverside Dictionary of Biography” by the American Heritage Dictionaries, p. 208
8.

two greek brothers , Cyril and Methodius, were sent in response to this request. This development was of particular importance to the formation of eastern european culture.


“historical Theology” by McGrath, p.125
9.

the byzantine emperor sent two greek monks, Cyril and Methodius, to spread Christianity to the slavic people.


“Global History and Geography” by Phillip Lefton, p. 130
10.

As the Slav tribes feel under the influence of Byzantium a considerable number of them were baptised but they were first converted to Christianity in Mass by the Greek brothers, Cyril and Methodius


Black lamb and Grey Falcon: A journey through Yugoslave” by Rebecca West, P. 710
11.


Saint Cyril of Alexandria

Saints are not born with halos around their heads. Cyril, recognized as a great teacher of the Church, began his career as archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt, with impulsive, often violent, actions. He pillaged and closed the churches of the Novatian heretics—who required those who denied the faith to be re-baptized—participated in the deposing of Saint John Chrysostom, and confiscated Jewish property, expelling the Jews from Alexandria in retaliation for their attacks on Christians.

Cyril’s importance for theology and Church history lies in his championing the cause of orthodoxy against the heresy of Nestorius, who taught that in Christ there were two persons, one human and one divine.

The controversy centered around the two natures in Christ. Nestorius would not agree to the title “God-bearer” for Mary. He preferred “Christ-bearer,” saying there are two distinct persons in Christ—divine and human—joined only by a moral union. He said Mary was not the mother of God but only of the man Christ, whose humanity was only a temple of God. Nestorianism implied that the humanity of Christ was a mere disguise.

Presiding as the pope’s representative at the Council of Ephesus in 431, Cyril condemned Nestorianism and proclaimed Mary truly the “God-bearer”—the mother of the one Person who is truly God and truly human. In the confusion that followed, Cyril was deposed and imprisoned for three months, after which he was welcomed back to Alexandria.

Besides needing to soften some of his opposition to those who had sided with Nestorius, Cyril had difficulties with some of his own allies, who thought he had gone too far, sacrificing not only language but orthodoxy. Until his death, his policy of moderation kept his extreme partisans under control. On his deathbed, despite pressure, he refused to condemn the teacher of Nestorius.

Lives of the saints are valuable not only for the virtue they reveal but also for the less admirable qualities that also appear. Holiness is a gift of God to us as human beings. Life is a process. We respond to God’s gift, but sometimes with a lot of zigzagging. If Cyril had been more patient and diplomatic, the Nestorian church might not have risen and maintained power so long. But even saints must grow out of immaturity, narrowness, and selfishness. It is because they—and we—do grow, that we are truly saints, persons who live the life of God.


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