On Sunday 14 February 2021, after the prayer of the Angelus, Pope Francis called to mind the celebration of the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, remarking on the relevance of their example and intercession for the ecumenical journey of Christians towards full communion.
“Today is the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, evangelisers of the Slavic peoples, proclaimed by Saint John Paul II as Co-patrons of Europe. I affectionately greet all of the communities who live in the territories evangelised by the holy brothers. May their intercession help us find new ways to communicate the Gospel. And through their intercession, may the Christian churches grow in their desire to walk toward full unity while respecting differences”.
The 40th anniversary of their proclamation as co–patrons of Europe occurred on 31 December 2020, commemorating Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Egregiae Virtutis of 31 December 1980 on the centenary of the Encylical Grande Munus (1880) with which Pope Leo XIII brought to the attention of the entire Church the lives and apostolic work of Saints Cyril and Methodius, introducing at the same time their liturgical feast into the calendar of the Catholic Church.