Cyril, Saint

Cyril, Saint

(Saint Cyril of Jerusalem) (sĭr`əl), c. 315–386, bishop of Jerusalem (c. 350–386), Doctor of the Church. Ordained by his predecessor as bishop, St. Maximus, he was deposed in 357 by the Arian bishop Acacius of Caesarea (see ArianismArianism
, Christian heresy founded by Arius in the 4th cent. It was one of the most widespread and divisive heresies in the history of Christianity. As a priest in Alexandria, Arius taught (c.
..... Click the link for more information.
) on charges of stealing church property, although the real reason was probably that he was teaching Nicene (see Nicaea, First Council ofNicaea, First Council of,
325, 1st ecumenical council, convened by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great to solve the problems raised by Arianism. It has been said that 318 persons attended, but a more likely number is 225, including every Eastern bishop of importance, four
..... Click the link for more information.
) and not Arian doctrine. The Council of Seleucia (359) deposed Acacius, and Cyril was returned to his see. Driven out again (360) by Emperor Constantius, he returned after Pope Julian ascended in 361, then was banished with other bishops in 367 by Emperor Valens, an Arian, and finally restored after the accession of Emperor Gratian (378). Cyril ultimately accepted the term homoousios [consubstantial, of the same substance] to define the Son's relationship to the Father; the term was affirmed by the First Council of Constantinople (381), which he attended. He probably instituted many of the liturgical forms for Holy Week, and he is known for Catechetical Lectures and Mystagogic Catecheses on the principles of Christianity. Feast: Mar. 18.

Cyril, Saint

(Saint Cyril of Alexandria) (sĭr`əl), d. A.D. 444, patriarch of Alexandria (412–44), Doctor of the Church, known for his animosity toward heretics and heathens. He drove the Jews from Alexandria, and under his rule HypatiaHypatia
, d.415, Alexandrian Neoplatonic philosopher and mathematician, a woman renowned for her learning, eloquence, and beauty. Little is known of her writings. Her fame is largely owing to her barbarous murder by a band of monks, said to have been encouraged by the
..... Click the link for more information.
 was killed. The great episode in his career was his struggle against NestorianismNestorianism,
Christian heresy that held Jesus to be two distinct persons, closely and inseparably united. In 428, Emperor Theodosius II named an abbot of Antioch, Nestorius (d. 451?), as patriarch of Constantinople.
..... Click the link for more information.
, which culminated in the Council of Ephesus in 431 (see Ephesus, Council ofEphesus, Council of,
431, 3d ecumenical council, convened by Theodosius II, emperor of the East, and Valentinian III, emperor of the West, to deal with the controversy over Nestorianism. Adherents of both parties attended; St.
..... Click the link for more information.
). There Cyril presided and had the full support of Pope Celestine ICelestine I, Saint
, d. 432, pope (422–32), an Italian; successor of St. Boniface I. The opposition of St. Cyril of Alexandria to Nestorianism inspired both sides to appeal to the pope, who judged that Nestorius should be excommunicated if he refused to retract.
..... Click the link for more information.
. He returned triumphant, but he continued to be opposed by the Antiochene bishops, who tended toward Nestorianism; consequently, they stayed out of communion with Alexandria, and so with the church, for two years. In 433, Cyril consented to a compromise with Antioch by declaring that Christ had two natures, human and divine, and that in speaking of one nature he meant one Person. St. Cyril wrote much on theology, particularly on the problem of the Trinity. His doctrines, though deemed orthodox in his time, were in a sense a preface to those of EutychesEutyches
, c.378–c.452, archimandrite in Constantinople, sponsor of Eutychianism, the first phase of Monophysitism. He was the leader in Constantinople of the most violent opponents of Nestorianism, among whom was Dioscurus, successor to St. Cyril (d.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and of MonophysitismMonophysitism
[Gr.,=belief in one nature], a heresy of the 5th and 6th cent., which grew out of a reaction against Nestorianism. It was anticipated by Apollinarianism and was continuous with the principles of Eutyches, whose doctrine had been rejected in 451 at Chalcedon (see
..... Click the link for more information.
. Feast: Feb. 9.