Today, the Church celebrates the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodious. The rest of the United States is celebrating St. Valentine's Day.
I'm not quite sure why St. Valentine isn't on the liturgical calender, as he seems to be the object of so much popular devotion (or at least pseudo-devotion). I had always heard that he was a Catholic priest in ancient Rome who helped couples by witnessing their Christian marriages, and that he was later martyred. Perhaps when they reformed the calender they determined these legends to be overly apocryphal. Oh, well.
But Sts. Cyril and Methodious are interesting, too, and they're also historically important. Not to mention the fact that they actually existed. They are mainly famous for preaching the Gospel to the Slavic nations, a byproduct of which was their invention of the Cyrillic (a.k.a. the "Russian") alphabet.
A seminarian friend asked me today, jokingly, "Will you be my Methodious?" To which I could only respond, "If you'll be my Cyril!"
I decided that I am definitely going to make cards along this theme for next year, as it's the perfect "St. Valentine's Day" greeting for those of us who aren't dating for spiritual reasons! Sts. Cyril and Methodious were friends whose friendship was based on Jesus Christ, and this bore fruit in the conversion of an entire culture. I find this to be an excellent example for me as I value my own friendships.
Funny story: In Medieval history at my very orthodox Catholic high school, we had a couple class sessions on Sts. Cyril and Methodius, and at the end of the powerpoint, the teacher had written "... and their feast day is February 14th." I said, "Poor Sts. Cyril and Methodius! They are such important saints and they are completely overshadowed by St. Valentine's Day!" To which a classmate responded, "St. Valentine is overshadowed by St. Valentine's Day!"
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