2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Also known as Constantine the Philosopher, St. Cyril was born c. 826/827 into a senatorial family in Thessalonike. His mother Maria may have been a Slav. Well-educated, Cyril became the librarian at Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and taught philosophy before he and his brother, Methodius, began to evangelize the Khazars, who lived on the Black Sea. After Ratislav of Moravia requested missionaries from Constantinople, Michael III sent the two to convert the Slavs in that kingdom. Cyril developed the glagolithic alphabet, based on the Greek, to translate the Bible and liturgical texts into Slavonic (or Old Bulgarian). The pair were called to Rome a few years later to defend their use of the vernacular. Cyril is said to have presented Adrian II with the relics of Clement of Rome, after which the pope consented to the use of Slavonic. Cyril entered a monastery near Rome, where he died in 869. Frescoes in San Clemente depict his funeral, and his grave is in the basilica.
Karen Rae Keck
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