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St. Cyril of Alexandria

Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

Feast Day: February 9

Cyril of Alexandria was the nephew of Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, and even as a young man gave evidence of unusual brilliance. When Theophilus died, Cyril succeeded to his See and, “becoming from the heart a pattern to the flock,” gained glory as the best of shepherds.

He shone in a special way in his zeal for the integrity of the Catholic Faith against Nestorius, the Bishop of Constantinople, who asserted that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary as man only and not as God, and that divinity had been added to Him for His merits.

After trying in vain to persuade Nestorius of the truth, St. Cyril denounced him to Pope St. Celestine. As the delegate of this Pope, he presided over many sessions of the Council of Ephesus. In that council the Nestorian heresy was completely condemned and Nestorius himself deposed from his See, while the Catholic doctrine was proclaimed that in Christ there is but one Person and that Person divine, and that the glorious Virgin Mary is the Mother of God.

Solicitous only for the faith and, as a result, enduring many things, St. Cyril accomplished great works for God’s Church and published many writings. Finally he died a holy death in the year 444, the thirty-second year of his episcopate.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1771-1772.

Related Link:

Epistle and Gospel for February 9