Memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius
Scripture Readings: Gen 2:18-25; Mk 7:24-30
Today we remember Saints Cyril and Methodius, or, as one of our recently deceased lay brothers used to mispronounce their names, “Saints Cereal and Methodist.” I can’t resist recalling another one of his classic mispronunciations when he said, ”Christ is the beginning and the end, the alfalfa and omega.” 1
Saints Cyril and Methodius were brothers born in ninth century Thessalonica, missionaries to Slavonic peoples who didn’t know Greek, like so many people today, and who didn’t even have an alphabet for their own language. So St. Cyril constructed one for them, and it is named after him, the Cyrillic Alphabet. Then he and his brother translated the scriptures, some Church Fathers and the liturgy from Latin and Greek into the Slavonic language to the great benefit of Eastern Europe. They were a thousand years ahead of the bishops at Vatican Two who authorized the use of vernacular languages in the liturgy for peoples in the West in 1963.
On this Valentine’s Day, I want to express my love and admiration for Br. Placid and his delightful mispronunciations, like “Saints Cereal and Methodist.” May these great saints who knew the benefits of celebrating the Eucharist and reading the Word of God in one’s own language, as we are doing this morning, help us to appreciate this wonderful grace which we have received in our own times. And may these saints pray that we will continue to make good use of such a great blessing.
- Rev. 22:13 “I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.