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Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Gangolph of Burgund, Martyr; Cyril and Methodius, Bishops, Confessors
Today we commemorate Gangolph, Cyril, and Methodius. According to Wikipedia:
Born to one of the most illustrious families of Burgundy, his education was provided by his parents, who were virtuous Christians. As a youth, Gangulphus was known for his great honesty, chastity, and propriety, and visited churches and read religious texts, avoiding the company of libertines. When his parents died, he became a model landowner, taking care of the household economy with ease and industry and also providing for the churches and the poor on his land. When it came time to marry, he chose a woman who did not share his virtues. As an important nobleman, Gangulphus participated in the wars of the time, but also dedicated himself to preaching the Gospel in Frisia. On a journey back to Burgundy, he found a property at Bassigny upon which stood a fountain that issued fresh and good water. Gangulphus bought the property. However, his friends mocked him because this property's fountain would not serve back at home. However, when Gangulphus returned home, he pushed a stick into the soil. The next day, he instructed his servant to pull the stick out of the soil. Out of the soil emerged a new fountain, from which gushed fresh water. During his absence, his wife had committed adultery with a priest. His wife protested her innocence, but Gangulphus wished her innocence to be judged by God. Thus, he had her dip her hand into the very same source of water he had created on his property. His wife’s hand was completely and miraculously scalded by the water. Gangulphus was fairly lenient: he forbade his wife from ever sharing his marriage bed and also ordered the priest to go abroad. Gangulphus meanwhile withdrew to his castle at Avallon, near Vézelay, performing works of penance and charity. However, his wife soon had her lover return. Hurrying back, the priest, wishing to decapitate Gangulphus, attacked the saint as he slept. However, the priest missed and injured Gangulphus' thigh. The wound, however, proved to be fatal and Gangulphus received the Last Sacraments on May 11, 760. The priest fled the country with Gangulphus' wife. Purported miracles soon took place at Gangulphus' tomb. Both his wife and the priest soon suffered illnesses and died.
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century.They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title "Apostles to the Slavs". They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs.