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St-Cyril-of-Alexandria

Feast of Saint Cyril of Alexandria

(376 – 444 A.D.)

Cyril succeeded his uncle in the See of Alexandria in 412. Nestorius, his counterpart in Constantinople, was preaching sermons in which he called Mary the “Christ-bearer” rather than the traditional title “God-bearer” (Theotokos).  Cyril responded to Nestorius by explaining the danger of the term “Christ-bearer”: it divided the human and the divine in the person of Christ, threatening the meaning of the Incarnation, God-become-man.  Cyril’s assessment was confirmed at the Council of Ephesus in 431.  Revered in the East as the “guardian of exactitude,” Cyril was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1882.

His feast day is June 27th.

Credit: as published by Magnificat Magazine, June 27, 2020.

That anyone could doubt the right of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God fills me with astonishment. Surely she must be the Mother of God if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, and she gave birth to him! Our Lord’s disciples may not have used those exact words, but they delivered to us the belief those words enshrine, and this has also been taught us by the holy fathers.”

Saint Cyril of Alexandria on Mary, Mother of God
Icon of St Cyril of Alexandria
Icon of St. Cyril of Alexandria (E. Tzane, 1654)

Fulfilling What Had Been Said

When the Creator of the universe conceived the magnificent plan of gathering up all things in Christ and restoring human nature to its original condition, he promised that along with all his other gifts he would once more give us the Holy Spirit. This was the only way for us to regain secure possession of God’s blessings. By God’s decree the time for this descent of the Spirit upon us was to concur with the coming of Christ. God gave his word that in those days—by which he meant the days of our Savior—he would pour out his Spirit upon the whole human race. So it was that when the time for this great act of generosity arrived and brought God’s only Son into our midst in human flesh, a man born of a woman as holy scripture says, God the Father began at once again to give the Spirit….

Christ our Savior himself tried to show the people of Israel through many marvelous deeds that although for our sake he had become a man according to the divine dispensation, he was still God as he had always been. To help them to realize this he did things that were beyond the power of any human being—God alone could perform such miracles. He raised the dead from their graves when they were already in a state of corruption; like the Creator, he made the blind see the light of day; he rebuked unclean spirits with authority; he cured lepers by a word of command; and there were other things he did that were marvelous beyond description. Therefore, if I am not acting as my Father would, he said to them, do not believe in me. But if I am, even if you do not believe in me, accept the evidence of my deeds.

Credit: From Tradition Day by Day: Readings from Church Writers, © 1994, Augustinian Heritage Institute, Villanova, PA. As published at Magnificat, June 27, 2020; www.magnificat.net.

 

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life founded upon our faith in him and our love for him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ, and we cling to his holy commandment in order to preserve this life.”

Saint Cyril of Alexandria
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Orthodox icon of Saint Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Church Father, Defender of Orthodoxy, Doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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