Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius were brothers from Thessaionica, Greece. Methodius was born in 815 and Cyril in 827. Both became priests and shared the same holy desires to spread the faith. They became missionaries to the Slav nations of Moravia, Bohemia and Bulgaria.
In 862, seven years before Cyril's death, the prince of Moravia asked for missionaries. They would bring the Good News of Jesus and the Church to his country. The prince added one more request: that the missionaries speak the language of his people. The two brothers volunteered and were accepted. Cyril and Methodius invented a Slav alphabet with which they translated the Bible and the Church's liturgy into the Slav language. Because of them the people were able to receive Christianity in words they could understand.
Some in the Church at the time did not approve of the use of a native language in church liturgy.The two brothers were called to Rome to have a meeting with the Pope. Some people may have been surprised at the way the meeting went. Pope Adrian II showed gratitude and admiration for the two missionaries. He approved their methods of spreading the faith and named them Bishops. Cyril, a monk, died before he could actually be consecrated a Bishop, but Methodius was.
Cyril died on February 14, 869. He is buried in the Church of Saint Clement in Rome. Methodius returned to the Slav countries and continued his labors for fifteen more years. He died on April 6, 885 in Velehrad, Moravia.
On December 31, 1980, Pope John Paul II declared St. Cyril and St. Methodius co-patrons of Europe along with St. Benedict.