9th Century

On the first Sunday of Lent, the use of images and statues returns to the Eastern Church.  This was a big deal to these folks. For more than 100 years there had been a campaign to remove images from the walls of churches. [See 730]  This was especially true during the days of Constantine V. He specifically targeted monks — stealing their icons and other monastic property, then in the ultimate insult, he forced the monks to marry nuns in a public ceremony. However these were not the feelings of Constantine's wife, and after his death she worked to have a church council re-approve the use of icons. That's what they did, and to this day the first Sunday of Lent is still observed as the "Feast of Orthodoxy" in Eastern churches.    [Read more ...]


Saints Cyril and Methodius begin their missionary work with the Slavs.  These Byzantine Greek brothers were the principal Christian missionaries among the Slavic peoples, introducing Orthodox Christianity and writing to the hitherto illiterate, pagan Slav migrants. They are credited with devising the first Glagolitic alphabet, which they used to translate the Bible into Old Church Slavonic. Both Cyril and Methodius greatly influenced the cultural development of all Slavs. For that, they are recognized as the "Apostles to the Slavs".    [Read more ...]


Alfred the Great becomes King of Wessex..  This scholarly man was able to unify Anglo-Saxon England in the face of a Danish invasion, and turn back the pagan attackers. Alfred was always a promoter of education, father of English prose, and a patron of the Church. So beloved was this man that he is the only English monarch to be known as "the Great". Alfred has the distinction of being the only English king ever to be anointed by the pope at Rome.    [Read more ...]


The Old Church Slavonic alphabet is adopted by the Bulgarian Empire.  This was the alphabet created earlier by missionaries Cyril and Methodius. [See 862]  [Here's what it looked like] Over the centuries the Church has encouraged education and knowledge — and this alphabet subsequently gave rise to rich literary and cultural activity in the area.    [Read more ...]