The 2 Euro commemorative coin of Slovakia for 2013 is dedicated to the patron saints of Slovakia, Constantine (Cyril) and Methodius, and marks the 1150th anniversary of the advent of their Mission to Great Moravia.
Saints Cyril and Methodius were Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessalonica in the 9th century who became Christian missionaries among the Slavic peoples of the Great Moravia and Pannonia, upon the request of Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia.
Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title “Apostles to the Slavs”. They are also credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the oldest known Slavic alphabet, used to facilitate the spread Christianity. The Glagolitic alphabet later evolved to the Cyrillic alphabet, still used today in religious documents. Both brothers are venerated in the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of “equal-to-apostles”.
This 2 Euro design was originally rejected by the EU on the grounds of not abiding with religious neutrality, mainly because of the presence of halos on the two saints. It was however later approved for mintage this year (max mintage 1 million coins). The National Bank of Slovakia expects the new coin to arouse extraordinary interest. Due to this, it will only offer the two-euro coin at its branches only on Fridays and has limited the quantity per person to only 50 pieces.
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