Although the liturgy for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time takes precedence, today is also the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, patron saints of Europe. There is a chapter about them in the booklet I wrote about Europe’s patron saints some years ago (out of print but if anyone wants a pdf I can send it to you).
Early on in his pontificate Pope St John Paul II added the two brothers, missionaries among the Slavs in the ninth century, to St Benedict, who had been named as Patron saint of Europe by his predecessor St Paul VI. This was to remind all Europeans – and this was before the fall of the Iron Curtain – of its joint eastern and western heritage. As we have reflected in this parish over the years, Europe has been strengthened, in spite of problems, by eastern European countries joining the EU and other institutions since the beginning of the century, and in many of our Catholic parishes migration from eastern Europe has enriched our communities. Pray today for continuing efforts to work for unity and reconciliation in Europe, in line with John Paul’s vision
God bless and take care