During his weekly catechesis, Pope Francis spoke of the evangelizing mission of St. Cyril and St. Methodius. They were known as the apostles of the Slavs since they evangelized in the East.
They faced the challenge of adapting the teachings of the Gospel to this people, so they invented the Glagolitic alphabet and, with the pope's permission, translated the Bible and liturgical texts. Pope Francis concluded by explaining that the relics of St. Cyril are venerated in the Basilica of St. Clement in Rome.
SUMMARY OF POPE FRANCIS' CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our catechesis on apostolic zeal, we have been reflecting on the spread of the Gospel through the witness of Christians of every time and place. Today we turn to Saints Cyril and Methodius, two brothers who are venerated as “the Apostles of the Slavs” for their outstanding missionary work among the peoples of Moravia.
As part of their effort to proclaim and inculturate the word of God among the Slavic peoples, they developed the Cyrillic alphabet, which made it possible to preach God’s word and to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the language of the people. Encountering opposition, they came to Rome, where they received support from the Pope. Cyril died in Rome, while Methodius, now ordained a bishop, returned to continue the work of evangelization in the Slavic lands, where he died a martyr’s death.
Saint John Paul II proclaimed Cyril and Methodius Co-Patrons of Europe in recognition of the abundant harvest of Christian faith and culture whose seeds they sowed. May the prayers of these two great Saints inspire among the peoples of Europe today a renewed commitment to the reconciliation, unity and peace that are the Holy Spirit’s gifts for the conversion of hearts and the building of a culture of authentic justice and fraternity.