Saints: Valentine, Cyril, and Methodius

Sure: today is Saint Valentine’s Day. Love, love, love.

I won’t write much because I meed to get on with a little romantic brunch, so see the listing at the Patron Saints Index. An excerpt:

Others maintain that the custom of sending Valentines on 14 February stems from the belief that birds begin to pair on that date. By 1477 the English associated lovers with the feast of Valentine because on that day “every bird chooses him a mate.” The custom started of men and women writing love letters to their Valentine on this day.

Which makes me think of this entry my friend Terrance blogged about.

Of course, if one loves someone of Slavic extraction, so much the better. Today also commemorates Sts. Cyril and Methodius, missionaries to the Slavs and the inventors of some Cyrillic script.

One Reply to “Saints: Valentine, Cyril, and Methodius”

  1. Sorry to nitpick, but Cyril and Methodius did not actually create Cyrillic, despite the name. St. Cyril almost certainly created Glagolitic, of which you can find an example here. There’s a lot of evidence that it was the creation of Cyril—it shows deep linguistic sophistication and familiarity with a number of writing systems (note especially the Semitic sh and shta), and it’s also rather clearly Christian. Note that az is shaped like a cross. Note also that i and slovo, the two letters involved in the usually abbreviation of Iisus Khristos, are mirror images of one another.

    Evidence suggests that Cyril and Methodius created the Glagolitic alphabet and their disciples later created Cyrillic, taking many letters from Greek and creating simpler letters for the sounds exclusive to Slavic. They carried over Cyril’s Semitic sha and shta and preserved his system for writing the vowels, which was quite innovative.

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