Ordinary Time: February 14th
Memorial of Sts. Cyril, monk and St. Methodius, bishop
Old Calendar: St. Valentine, priest and martyr ; Other Titles: St. Valentine's Day
St. Cyril was a priest and a philosopher and accompanied his brother St. Methodius to Moravia to preach the Gospel. They both perfected a Slavonic alphabet which is now known as the Cyrillic alphabet and translated the liturgy into this language. They were summoned to Rome, where Cyril died on this date in 869, and Methodius was consecrated bishop and sent to Pannonia. He died on April 6, 885, in Velehrad, Czech Republic, after working tirelessly on spreading the Gospel. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, their feast is celebrated on July 7.Today is also the feast of St. Valentine. St. Valentine, a priest of Rome, was martyred, it would appear, in about 270. On the Flaminian Way, at the site of his martyrdom, Julius I built a basilica which was visited frequently.
Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Cyril and Methodius, the apostles of the Slavs, were brothers who hailed from Thessalonia. After receiving an excellent education, they were sent by the Eastern Emperor Michael III (842-856) into the kingdom of Grand-Moravia; through great effort and in spite of tremendous difficulties they converted the Slavonic nations. They translated the Bible into Slavonic and devised a kind of writing, called glagolitic, which even to the present day is used in the liturgical services of some Eastern rites.
In 867 the two brothers came to Rome, were met by Pope Hadrian II (867-872) and the whole papal court. They gave a report of their labors but encountered opposition on the part of jealous clergy who took offense, it was said, because of their liturgical innovations. Cyril and Methodius explained their methods and from the Pope himself received episcopal consecration (868). Soon after, Cyril died at Rome, only forty-two years old, and was buried in St. Peter's; later his body was transferred to San Clemente, where his remains still rest. His funeral resembled a triumphal procession.
Symbols for St. Cyril: With Saint Methodius; Oriental monk holding a church with the help of Methodius; surrounded by Bulgarian converts; wearing a long philosopher's coat. Symbols for St. Methodius: With Saint Cyril; Oriental bishop holding up a church with Saint Cyril; Oriental bishop holding a picture of the Last Judgement.Things to Do:
- Learn more about the Missionaries to the Slavs.
- Read Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Grande Munus (On Ss. Cyril And Methodius) and Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Slavorum Apostoli.
- If you are interested in languages you can learn more about the Glagolitic alphabet created by St. Cyril and Methodius.
Legend states that Valentine, along with St. Marius, aided the Christian martyrs during the Claudian persecution. In addition to his other edicts against helping Christians, Claudius had also issued a decree forbidding marriage. In order to increase troops for his army, he forbade young men to marry, believing that single men made better soldiers than married men.
- Read the Golden Legend account of St. Valentine's life.
- Pray to St. Valentine for an increase of true, sacrificial love within marriages.
- Make Valentines for those closest to you — your family and friends. If you have children, teach them to make valentines from red construction paper and doilies.
- Introduce your family to some of our delicious Valentine's day recipes, such as heart cake or peppermint mousse.
- Begin to read and discuss some of St. John Paul II's works on marriage; for example, Love and Responsibility or his The Theology of the Body Human Love in the Divine Plan (Parish Resources).