Wednesday, 14 February 2007

St Cyril and St Methodius

Usually hidden from public gaze is this large icon of Sts Cyril and Methodius, firmly attached to the wall of the long corridor in Clergy House. I do not know of its provenance, but suspect it may have been acquired by Mgr Wheeler or Mgr Bartlett, both former Administrators and notable art collectors.

Sts Cyril (826 - 869) and Methodius (815 -885) were brothers who evangelised the slavic peoples. Their genius (they laid the foundations for what become known as the 'cyrillic alphabet' still in use in Eastern Europe) meant that Christianity was enthusiastically received by the southern slav nations. Pope John Paul II declared them patrons of Europe, along with St Benedict.

Our icon has both eastern and western elements and was probably made in Russia. St Cyril is shown in the monk's habit which he assumed towards the end of his life. Fr Slawek impressively translated the Russian inscriptions above the figures. On the left 'Holy Man of God Methodius' and on the right 'Holy Man of God Cyril'.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have visited the cathedral of St Cyril and St Methodius in Prague. It was in the crypt that 2 SOE agents hid until murdered by the SS. They had attempted to assassinate Heydrich the governor a few days earlier. (He subsequently died from peritonitus caused by a wound)

The crypt still has the furrows from the bullets below the coffins of those buried there.

A long time ago but still fresh in the minds of those who look after the cathedral

st columba said...

When I was a child, I was not too bright. I could not understand why the Methodists were not Catholic. "After all, weren't they founded by a saint?" (St. Methodius)