Monument to Saints Cyril and Methodius, Sofyi Perovskoy St , Murmansk Oblast, Russia

In 1992 during the celebration of the Day of Slavonic literature and culture a monument to the creators of the Cyrillic alphabet was put up in Moscow. Their names are Cyril and Methodius, they were two Christian missionaries born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century.

The Old Slavonic inscription on the pedestal says “To Saints Equal-to-the-Apls, teachers of the Slavs Methodius and Cyril from grateful Russia”. Later linguists found 5 spelling errors in this phrase, including two errors in the word Russia.

Who were Cyril and Methodius? More than a thousand years ago these two brothers came from Byzantium to the Slavic lands to preach the doctrine of Christ. It is known that Cyril received a brilliant education in Constantinople and later taught at the University of Magnavr, one of the greatest educational institutions of those times.

In the year 862, at the request of the ambassadors of Prince Rostislav, the brothers Cyril and Methodius were charged with high mission – teaching and preaching Christianity in the Slavic language in the distant Moravia.

Cyril and Methodius devised a new alphabet to translate the Bible from the Greek language. However, the Roman Church didn’t approve these efforts and accused the brothers of heresy.

At that time only three sacred languages were recognized: Hebrew, Greek and Latin. In 879 Methodius got official permission of worship in the Slavonic language. He later was able to translate the Old Testament.

Epic Russia Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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