St. Cyril & St. Methodius Day

Observed annually on the 5th of July, St. Cyril & St. Methodius Day is a holiday that’s observed in Slovakia, as well as in other countries throughout the world. This Roman Catholic feast day commemorates the two saints who are known as the “Apostles to the Slavs” and are held in high esteem not only in the Roman Catholic Church but also in Eastern Orthodox traditions.

Although this holiday is observed in many countries around the world, it is only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia that the day is not only a religious holiday but also a public one.

The History of St. Cyril & St. Methodius

Born in the 9th century, Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine brothers from Thessalonica. They were part of a prominent Christian family in the area, so it is no surprise that they became missionaries. By 860, they were spreading Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Pannonia, and Great Moravia.

These two saints have also been credited with developing the Glagolitic alphabet at the request of Rastislav, a Moravian prince. After completing that task, they began to transcribe the religious texts that were in Greek at the time into Old Bulgarian.

Pope Leo XIII introduced these brothers’ Feast Day onto the Roman Catholic Church Calendar in 1880. Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe. In 1990, Czechoslovakia declared this day as a holiday, and it remained a holiday in the Czech Republic and Slovakia after Czechoslovakia split up in 1993.

Observing St. Cyril & St. Methodius

This holiday is mainly observed as a religious holiday, so many people attend special services for St. Cyril and St. Methodius on this day. This holiday is also celebrated as Foreign Slovaks Day, so it is a day off for the general population, and government institutions and many businesses are closed on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Slovakia (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 5 Friday
Next year (2025)
July 5 Saturday
Last year (2023)
July 5 Wednesday