The brothers from Thessaloniki, as they are known, have been venerated as saints for the translation and popularization of the Holy Bible and other texts into the Old Church Slavonic language and for the spreading of Christianity among the Slavic peoples. Through their work they received the title “Equals to the Apostles”, and the Eastern Orthodox Church fames them and their followers as “Sveti Sedmochislenitsi” /the group of the seven saints/.
Since 1863, May 11 used to be celebrated ecclesiastically as the “Day of the Saints Cyril and Methodius, Equals to the Apostles”. After the Liberation, May 11th became the so-called “Day of the First Slavonic Teachers” for all the Bulgarian schools. The idea of creation of an anthem arises by that time. In 1892, in Rousse, Stoyan Mihailovsky, who was teaching at that time in the local men’s high school, wrote the song Cyril and Methodius /known with its first stanza, “Varvi narode vazrodeni” –“March ahead, o revived people”/. Lybomir Pipkov, a teacher in the primary school of Lovech, composed the music to the anthem in 1901 on the eve of the Day of the Bulgarian culture.
In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared Cyril and Methodius as co-patrons of Europe.