Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Theophylactus of Okhrid

Theophylactus of Okhrid was an Archbishop of Bulgaria, of Greek nationality, who lived in the second half of the eleventh and the first half of the twelfth century. He was a chronicler and lived in the city of Okhrid, the see of his arch-bishopric. The excerpt that follows comes from his tract The Long Life of St. Clement of Okhrid written in the twelfth century, in which he writes about Sts. Cyril and Methodius. The monumental contribution of the brothers and priests, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, cannot be conveyed in a few sentences-or in a passage from their writings. St. Cyril was born in 827 in the city of Salonica. St. Methodius was born not later than 815 in the same city. Together they created the Cyrillic alphabet used today by the Slavic people. The following passage, which expresses the spirit of Sts.Cyril and Methodius, and reproduces phrases they no doubt employed, was written by Theophylactus of Okhrid.


SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS

You probably want to know what these Saints are? They are Methodius who crowned the Panonian diocese by becoming Archbishop of Moravia, and Cyril, who was great in pagan philosophy and still greater in the Christian one ....

Because the Slav or the Bulgarian people did not understand the scripture in the Greek language, the Saints considered this as the greatest loss and found grounds for their inconsolable sorrow in the fact that the lamp of the Scripture was not lit in the dark country of the Bulgarians. They grieved, suffered, and renounced life ....

And so what did they do? They turned to the Consoler whose first gifts are the tongue and words. They obtained from Him the grace and invented the alphabet that corresponds to the coarseness of the Bulgarian language and enabled them to translate the Holy Scripture into the language of the people ....

After having obtained this desired gift, they invented the Slav alphabet, translated the God-inspired Scripture from the Greek into the Bulgarian language and took care to pass on the divine knowledge to the more talented among their disciples ....

After many days, when St. Cyril was about to appear before the judgment of his Creator, he said to his brother Methodius: "Well, brother, we were both yoked together to plough a furrow. My days have come to an end, and I fall in the field. You dearly love the mountains, but do not give up our teaching for their sake."



Last modified: November 24, 1997

p-miltenoff@nwu.edu