Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria – Doctor & Father of the Church – “The Pillar of Faith” & “Seal of all the Fathers” – Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) Added by Pope Leo XIII in 1883

Saint of the Day – 27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria – Doctor of the Church “The Pillar of Faith” & “Seal of all the Fathers” – Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) Added by Pope Leo XIII in 1883 – (376 at Alexandria, Egypt – 444 at Alexandria, Egypt of natural causes, his relics are in Alexandria).   Bishop, Confessor, Writer, Defender of the Faith.   Patron of Alexandria, Egypt.   Attributes – book, pen or scroll, indicative of his work as a writer, the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus, representing his advocacy of the doctrine of Mary as Mother of God.

On June 27, Roman Catholics honour St. Cyril of Alexandria.   An Egyptian bishop and theologian, he is best known for his role in the Council of Ephesus, where the Church confirmed that Christ is both God and man in one person.

st cyril of alexandria 4

Cyril was most likely born in Alexandria, the metropolis of ancient Egypt, between 370 and 380.   From his writings, it appears he received a solid literary and theological education.   Along with his uncle, Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria, he played a role in an early fifth-century dispute between the Egyptian and Greek churches.   There is evidence he may have been a monk before becoming a bishop.

When Theophilus died in 412, Cyril was chosen to succeed him at the head of the Egyptian Church.   He continued his uncle’s policy of insisting on Alexandria’s preeminence within the Church over Constantinople, despite the political prominence of the imperial capital.   The two Eastern churches eventually re-established communion in approximately 418.st-cyril-of-alexandria upsize

Ten years later, however, a theological dispute caused a new break between Alexandria and Constantinople.   Cyril’s reputation as a theologian, and later Doctor of the Church, arose from his defense of Catholic orthodoxy during this time.

In 428, a monk named Nestorius became the new Patriarch of Constantinople.   It became clear that Nestorius was not willing to use the term “Mother of God” (“Theotokos”) to describe the Virgin Mary.   Instead, he insisted on the term “Mother of Christ” (“Christotokos”).   During the fourth century, the Greek Church had already held two ecumenical councils to confirm Christ’s eternal preexistence as God prior to his incarnation as a man.   From this perennial belief, it followed logically that Mary was the mother of God.   Veneration of Mary as “Theotokos” confirmed the doctrine of the incarnation, and Christ’s status as equal to the God the Father.   Nestorius insisted that he, too, held these doctrines.   But to Cyril, and many others, his refusal to acknowledge Mary as the Mother of God seemed to reveal a heretical view of Christ which would split him into two united but distinct persons:  one fully human and born of Mary, the other fully divine and not subject to birth or death.

Cyril responded to this heretical tendency first through a series of letters to Nestorius (which are still in existence and studied today), then through an appeal to the Pope, and finally through the summoning of an ecumenical council in 431.   Cyril presided over this council, stating that he was “filling the place of the most holy and blessed Archbishop of the Roman Church,” Pope Celestine, who had authorised it.st cyril_of alex mosaic - small

The council was a tumultuous affair.   Patriarch John of Antioch, a friend of Nestorius, came to the city and convened a rival council which sought to condemn and depose Cyril.   Tension between the advocates of Cyril and Nestorius erupted into physical violence at times and both parties sought to convince the emperor in Constantinople to back their position.

During the council, which ran from June 22 to July 31 of the year 431, Cyril brilliantly defended the orthodox belief in Christ as a single eternally divine person who also became incarnate as a man.   The council condemned Nestorius, who was deposed as patriarch and later suffered exile.   Cyril, however, reconciled with John and many of the other Antiochian theologians who once supported Nestorius.

St. Cyril of Alexandria died on June 27, 444, having been a bishop for nearly 32 years. Long celebrated as a saint, particularly in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, he was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1883.st-cyril-of-alexandria-statue

 

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

One thought on “Saint of the Day – 27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria – Doctor & Father of the Church – “The Pillar of Faith” & “Seal of all the Fathers” – Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) Added by Pope Leo XIII in 1883

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s