2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Born c. 815/825 in Thessalonike, St. Methodius was the scion of a senatorial family, and he became an archon in Macedonia when he completed his education. He is thought to have been married before he became a monk at Mount Olympus in 850. With his brother, Cyril, Methodius became a missionary to the Khazars, who lived on the Black Sea. Michael III sent the pair as missionaries to Moravia when its duke Ratislav requested that his country be evangelized. Methodius' role in the development in the glagolithic script that is the basis for the present Cyrillic alphabet is considered minor to noon-existent. He did continue to translate liturgical texts into Slavonic after the death of his brother in 869, at Rome where the two had defended the use of Slavonic in the liturgy. Adrian II consecrated Methodius bishop of Pannonia and Moravia; he returned to his see in 870. Louis the German captured him and imprisoned him for two years before John VIII secured his release. In 878, Methodius was summoned to Rome to defend a second time the use of the vernacular in the church. He was allowed to continue to use it, but Stephen V/VI tried to outlaw its use after Methodius' death in 885.
Karen Rae Keck
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