The Orthodox Church commemorates Hieromartyr Mocius, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Enlighteners of the Slavs. The Church also commemorates the founding of Constantinople.
Saints Cyril and Methodius came from Thessaloniki and lived during the 9th century AD. Cyril received higher education and was a student of the Patriarch Photius. He was a clergyman and professor of philosophy and theology in Constantinople.
Endowed with a practical mind, Methodius was distinguished as commander of a Slavic province and later as abbot of the Polychroniou Monastery in Bithynia.
The two brothers had originally undertaken and successfully completed a missionary expedition to the Khazars in AD 860.
When Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia asked the Byzantine Εmperor Michael III to send missionaries to the country, the Emperor and the Patriarch decided to send Cyril and Methodius who knew the Slavic language. In fact, Cyril invented the Cyrillic script because the Slavic language until then was used only in oral speech.
The alphabet helped the Slavic peoples in various ways to learn the Bible, the life of the Church and to write down their history.
It is, therefore, right that Methodius and Cyril have been called the enlighteners of the Slavs. The local daughter Churches honor them as patrons and protectors of the Slavic Christian peoples and do not forget this beneficial and discreet care of the Mother Church.
It is confirmed once again that the worship and confession of true faith are expressed through the mother tongue of the peoples.
The Orthodox Church respected and understood it from the beginning of its historical course. Saints Cyril and Methodius are a great example of the significance of the mother tongue so that everybody can worship God.
In this spirit, the Archbishop and Ethnarch of Cyprus, Makarios III, offered to the Missionary Work of the Patriarchate of Alexandria 50 years ago, with the baptisms in East Africa, focusing on Kenya.
Source: Church of Cyprus