Proglas 3

P R O G L A S 63 wisdom. And Constantine had become enchanted by wisdom long before this dispute. ”When the boy was seven he had a dream. He told this dream to his parents. The strategus gathered all the maidens of the town and told me: Choose one to be your companion in life and equal partner. I looked carefully at everyone of them. One was exceedingly beautiful, her face shone and she was decorated with gold, pearls and beauty. Her name was Sofia-wisdom. That is the one I chose.“ This was written in the beginning of the third chapter of Constantine’s biography called ”The Life of Constantine Cyril“, in which we can find many demonstrations of Constantine’s lifelong love of wisdom. As a boy Constantine was ready to give all his inheritance to a teacher of grammar. After he had mastered grammar in three months and grasped other disciplines in an astonishingly short time too, he was able to answer the question of Logothete, or as we would say now – prime minister, Theoctistos: what is philosophy? But that was not all. He explained the matter so well that the grateful politician offered him not only a splendid worldly career but also his goddaughter as a wife. However Constantine again chose in favour of his great LOVE-PHILOSOPHY. He was then appointed patriarchal librarian of the Holy Wisdom Cathedral (Hagia Sofia). But again he did not stay there for long. For six months he was hiding in the outskirts of the town so that he could concentrate on his studies. Eventually he was found and, after much imploring, accepted ”a teaching post at the univer-sity and taught native and foreign people philosophy“. After some time, however, he escaped from this place too and lived in the Polychronion monastery of brother Methodius which was situated at the foot of mount Olympus in Bithynia (Asia Minor). There he lived and “talked to books only.“ But no matter how hard he tried to escape mundane life the emperor’s people found him whenever they needed to send abroad somebody who would defend and spread Christian faith and the interests of the Byzantine Empire. During one of these missions Constantine discovered at the Black Sea the remains of St Clement, who was the disciple of St Peter and who later became the third pope. These remains Constantine later brought to Great Moravia and they also allowed him to enter the Eternal City with triumph. There he fell seriously ill and sought a refuge in a monastery. He accepted the name of Cyril (Greek Kyrillos). He died there on 14th February 869 happy that he was at last in the hands of no one but God, the source of all WISDOM. He was buried in the St Clement’s cathedral where the remains of the eponymous Saint were also laid. Constantine’s love of wisdom culminated in Rome where he achieved a real triumph for our ancestors. Pope Hadrian II acknowledged the Old Slavonic language to be a liturgical languagejust like Latin, Greek and Hebrew. But the most wonderful fruit of the Philosopher’s love in the field of poetry remains his “Proglas”, the praise of script which communicates the Gospels, the most important part of the Holy Bible, to the people in their own language.