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In the mountainous region of Carpatho-Rus, known also as Carpatho-Ruthenia, situated between present day Slovakia and Ukraine, there is a group of Eastern Christians. Evangelized in the ninth century by those equals-to-the-apostles, Saints Cyril and Methodius, this group received the Holy Gospel and Sacred Mysteries (Sacraments) from the Byzantine Church of Constantinople. Although Cyril and his brother, Methodius, were Greek (from Thessalonika), they promoted the use of the ancient Slavonic language in worship.

This language, later known as Old Church Slavonic, would become the liturgical language of the Carpatho-Rusyns and all Slavonic Christians, both Orthodox and Catholic. In time, Cyril and Methodius brought their liturgical books to Rome to receive the blessings of Pope Hadrian, and he in turn blessed their mission of establishing the Greek (Byzantine) Catholic religion in the Carpathian mountains of Central Europe.

Over time, a rift grew between East and West; and, in 1054, estrangement was realized with the Great Schism of Constantinople and Rome. Being an Eastern Church, the Carpatho-Rusyns were eventually drawn into by this unfortunate break and became members of the Orthodox Church.

Our Byzantine History

Updated 2018