St. Cyril & St. Methodius Day
Observed annually on the 5th of July, St. Cyril & St. Methodius is a holiday that’s observed in Slovakia, as well as other countries throughout the world. This Roman Catholic feast day commemorates the two saints who have been known as the “Apostles to the Slavs” and are held in high esteem in not only the Roman Catholic Church but also in Eastern Orthodox traditions.
Although this holiday is observed in many countries around the world, it’s only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia that the day is not only a religious holiday, but is also a public one as well.
The History Of St. Cyril & St. Methodius
Born in the 9th century, Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine brothers who were born in Thessalonica. They were a part of a prominent Christian family in the area, so it’s no surprise that they would become missionaries and by 860 was spreading Christianity among the Slavic people of Bulgaria, Pannonia, and Great Moravia.
These two saints have also been credited with developing the Glagolitic alphabet at the request of Rustislave, a Moravian prince. When they finished that task, they then began to transcribe the religious texts that were in Greek at the time into Old Bulgarian.
Pope Leo XIII, would introduce these brothers Feast Day onto the Roman Catholic Church Calendar in 1880. Pope John Paul II would declare 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 broke up in 1993.
Observing St. Cyril & St. Methodius
This holiday is mainly observed as a religious holiday, so many people go to special services for St. Cyril and St. Methodius on this day. This holiday is also celebrated as Foreign Slovaks Day, so it’s a day off for the general population, and government institutions and many businesses are closed on this day.