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July

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Sts Cyril (Constantine) and Methodius are heroes of Slovak Christianity. Although historical findings show that Christianity came to Slovakia even before the Byzantine missionaries arrived, it was only after that that Christianity was firmly rooted in the heart of Europe.

Sts Cyril and Methodius were brothers who lived in Thessaloniki in modern-day Greece, then Byzantium. They were invited to Great Moravia, the first Slavic state in the world and ancient predecessor of Slovakia, by its king. Christianity was a mark of the development of empires at the time. For Great Moravia to advance itself in the cutthroat world of European politics, it had to become Christian.

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Cyril and Methodius were tasked with the mission of converting the pagan Slavs to the new faith. They arrived in Great Moravia in 863 and the city of Nitra in western Slovakia became the gateway of Christianity not just to Great Moravia, but to the entire Slavic world.

Before they arrived, the brothers created a new Slavic script called Glagolitic and translated the Bible into the Old Slavonic because they realized that if the Slavs were to adopt Christianity without bloodshed, they had to be able to understand its principles. This was unheard of. Up until then, the Bible was only available in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek which were the only languages considered worthy of the holy script.

Today, Sts Cyril and Constantine are patron saints of Slovakia. Their legacy lives on.

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