In the last half of the 9th century, Sts. Cyril and Methodius. Cyril studied secular sciences at Constantinople, and succeeded Photius as professor there. His brother Methodius was a state official. Around 860 they were sent as missionaries from Constantinople to the Slavs. They translated the Bible and the liturgy into Old Slavonic, for which they created an alphabet. They passed through Rome in 867 on their way to Constantinople, carrying the relics of St. Clement, which were placed in the church of San Clemente. Pope Hadrian II endorsed their missionary work. Cyril died in 869. Methodius was consecrated archbishop of Sirmium in 870, with responsibility for the Moravian, Serbo-Croatian and Slovene mission territories. Much of his work was later undone because of conflicts between the Franks, Constantinople and Rome. Cyril and Methodius are, with St. Benedict, the patrons of Europe.
At Rome, in the third century, the martyrdom of St. Valentine. One theory holds that his association with romanic love originated because birds choose their mates around this date.
Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.