Monday, February 7, 2011

St. Cyril and St. Methodius: Our Patron Saints, Our Purpose...

Over 1000 years ago, two brothers, motivated by their profound love for God,  dedicated their lives to the cause of spreading the Gospel message.  Born into a prominent Christian family in Thessalonica (modern-day Greece) in the 9th century, Saints Cyril and Methodius were both gifted leaders and teachers.  Because of their talents and their mastery of the language, they were sent as missionaries first to what is now Ukraine and then to other areas inhabited by the Slavic peoples. 

There they preached the Gospel, baptized many people and established churches.  St. Cyril is perhaps most famous for developing an alphabet which formed the foundation of what is now known as the Cyrillic alphabet.  After St. Cyril died in Rome in 869, his brother, St. Methodius, was consecrated a bishop and served in Moravia until his death in 885. 

Most famously known as the "Apostles to the Slavs", these two brothers were named as patrons of Europe by Pope John Paul II in 1980 for their great contributions to the work of evangelization.

Inspired by the heroic witness, initiative, and creativity of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, we choose them as patron saints of this blog.  We pray that through their intercession, this blog may be an effective tool for strengthening and fostering the Christian faith in our own day.

(Stained Glass Window,
St. Peter's Church, Thunder Bay)

Recently, Pope Benedict XVI, in a message for the 45th World Communications Day, once again encouraged Christians to proclaim the Gospel using the new and ever-devoloping tools and networks of the digital age.  Our parish blog is a humble attempt to respond to his invitation.
Here, in part, are some of his words:

"I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life. The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness. In this field too we are called to proclaim our faith that Christ is God, the Saviour of humanity and of history, the one in whom all things find their fulfilment (cf. Eph 1:10)."