Born in the 9th century, these two saints were brothers. Because their father was an officer in a part of Greece inhabited by many Slavs, both brothers ultimately became missionaries, teachers and patrons of the Slavic peoples. Cyril’s first work was to invent an alphabet, still used in some Eastern liturgies. His followers probably formed the Cyrillic alphabet (for example, modern Russian) from Greek capital letters. Together they translated the Gospels, the psalter, Paul’s letters and the liturgical books into Slavonic, and composed a Slavonic liturgy.
Methodius was papal legate for all the Slavic peoples, and consecrated a bishop. Legend has it that in a feverish period of activity, Methodius translated the whole Bible into Slavonic in eight months.