Friday, February 12, 2010

Be My Methodius. . .

With characteristic wit, Leon Suprenant reminds us that it's not St. Valentine's feast day that the Church commemorates on February 14th:

"Very few of us will walk up to someone on Sunday and greet him or her with the words, 'Happy St. Cyril’s Day,' or even 'Happy Cyril’s Day.' And surely no one will ask their sweetheart to 'Be my Methodius.'

And yet, on February 14th, the universal Church commemorates Sts. Cyril and Methodius, not St. Valentine, notwithstanding the latter’s larger-than-life appeal. (Of course, when saint days fall on Sunday, the saint's feast is superseded by the Sunday, so this year February 14th is actually the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time.)

Sts. Cyril and Methodius, brothers from what in biblical times was known as Thessalonica, were ninth-century missionaries to the Slavic people in Eastern Europe. Not only did they learn the oral language of the people, but they developed an alphabet and written language so that the Bible and liturgical texts could be translated into the living language of the people. They were truly remarkable men of God.

"Be my Methodius."  I love that.  Maybe I'll try it on Mrs. Lee this weekend.  On a related note, the Diversity Committee at my office left a little box of conversation hearts on each employee's desk overnight -- along with a note detailing the legendary biographical details of the third century Catholic priest, St. Valentine.  In general, I dislike the exaltation of diversity as a virtue, but if there's going to be a Diversity Committee, at least they are behaving in an equal opportunity fashion.

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