St Cyril

(c. 315—387)

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Bp. of Jerusalem from c.349. In 357 Acacius, the Arian Bp. of Caesarea, had Cyril banished on the ground of his opposition to Arianism, but the Council of Seleucia recalled him in 359. Later Cyril's beliefs about the Godhead of Christ became suspect in the opposite quarter because he disliked as man-made the term ‘homoousios’. The Council of Antioch in 379 sent St Gregory of Nyssa to investigate; he reported that the faith of the Church of Jerusalem was sound.

Cyril's most important surviving work is a series of addresses given to candidates for Baptism. The (pre-Lenten) ‘Procatechesis’ and the ‘Catecheses’ (given in Lent) were delivered c.380; the ‘Mystagogic Catecheses’ (given in the week after Easter) must be placed at the end of his episcopate, unless they are the work of his successor. The series provides much material on the liturgy. Feast day, 18 Mar.

Subjects: Christianity.

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