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St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church

Cyril was born in the Holy Land around the year 315. At about the age of thirty he was ordained priest by St. Maximus, Bishop of Jerusalem, who also placed him in charge of instructing catechumens. When Maximus died a few years later, Cyril succeeded him as bishop, with the support of Acacius, the archbishop of Caesarea. Acacius was inclined to the Arian heresy, and seems to have considered Cyril similarly sympathetic. Soon, however, the two came into conflict, at first over matters of jurisdiction but then over theology. Cyril was exiled from Jerusalem three separate times, usually for alleged canonical crimes, though in fact he was persecuted for his defense of orthodoxy against Arianism. Cyril had accepted the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, and eventually the Eastern bishops confirmed Cyril’s orthodoxy and defended him in writing against the false accusations and persecutions he had suffered. After finally governing his see in peace for several years, Cyril died in the year of Our Lord 386, leaving behind many important writings.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 18th

AT Jerusalem, St. Cyril, bishop and doctor, who suffered many injuries from the Arians for the faith. Often exiled from his church, he at length rested in peace with a great reputation for sanctity. A magnificent testimony of the purity of his faith is given by a general Council, in a letter to pope Damasus.

At Caesarea, in Palestine, the birthday of the blessed bishop Alexander, who from his own city, in Cappadocia, where he was bishop, coming to Jerusalem to visit the holy places, took upon himself, by divine revelation, the government of that Church, in the place of the aged Narcissus, its bishop. Some time afterwards, when he had become venerable by his age and grey hairs, he was led to Caesarea and shut up in prison, where he ended his martyrdom for the confession of Christ during the persecution of Decius.

At Augsburg, St. Narcissus, bishop, who was the first to preach the Gospel in the Tyrol. Afterwards, setting out for Spain, he converted many to the faith of Christ at Gerona, where, with the deacon Felix, he received the palm of martyrdom during the persecution of Diocletian.

At Nicomedia, ten thousand holy martyrs, who were put to the sword for the confession of Christ.

Also, the holy martyrs Trophimus and Eucarpius.

In England, the holy king Edward, who was assassinated by order of his treacherous stepmother, and became celebrated for many miracles.

At Lucca, in Tuscany, the birthday of the holy bishop Frigidian, who was illustrious by the power of working miracles. His feast is more especially celebrated on the 18th of November, when his body was translated.

At Mantua, St. Anselm, bishop and confessor.

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

℟. Thanks be to God.

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