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St. Cyril of Alexandria

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Saint Cyril of Alexandria

Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church

Cyril was born in Egypt around the year 376, and was educated by his maternal uncle, Theophilus, the Patriarch of Alexandria. In 412 he succeeded his late uncle as Patriarch, and immediately suppressed the Novatian heretics in Alexandria. Cyril was plagued by an unruly populace and a power struggle with the Egyptian Prefect, Orestes, but he did succeed in firmly reestablishing communion with Rome after his uncle’s mistakes. Cyril would appeal directly to Rome after a debate with Nestorius, the heretical bishop of Constantinople. Pope St. Celestine I supported Cyril, who zealously led the Council of Ephesus that condemned the Nestorian heresy, confirmed that Jesus Christ was one Person with two natures, human and divine, and proclaimed Mary’s title Theotokos. Cyril died in the year of Our Lord 444, having completed many great theological works. Some writings were sadly misinterpreted and used by the Monophysite heretics, but nonetheless Cyril was venerated highly in the East, and finally added to the General Roman Calendar as a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII. His feast in the modern calendar is June 27th.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for February 9th

AT Alexandria, St. Cyril, bishop and doctor of the church. He is mentioned on the 28th of January.

In the same city, in the reign of Decius, the birthday of St. Apollonia, virgin, who had all her teeth plucked out by the persecutors; then having constructed and lighted a pyre, they threatened to burn her alive, unless she repeated certain impious words after them. Deliberating awhile with herself, she suddenly slipped from their grasp, and feeling an inspiration of the Holy Ghost, rushed voluntarily into the fire which they had prepared. The very authors of her death were struck with terror at the sight of a woman who was more willing to die than they to condemn her.

At Rome, the passion of the holy martyrs Alexander, and thirty-eight others crowned with him.

At Solum, in Cyprus, the holy martyrs Ammonius and Alexander. At Antioch, under the emperor Valerian, St. Nicephorus, martyr, who was beheaded and thus received the crown of martyrdom.

In Africa, in a village called Lemelis, the holy martyrs Primus and Donatus, deacons, who were killed by the Donatists for defending an altar in the church.

In the monastery of St. Vandrille, St. Ansbert, bishop of Rouen.

At Canossa, in Apulia, of St. Sabinus, bishop and confessor.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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