Saturday, 18 March 2017

Cyril of Jerusalem

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (c 313-386) was a theologian of the early church. He was born in either Palestine or Jerusalem, and became a deacon in 326, slowly rising through the ranks before finally being made Bishop of Jerusalem. He is famed for his twenty-three catechetical lectures, which contain instructions on the principal topics of Christian faith and practise, in rather a popular manner, full of a pastoral love and care for the catechumens (new converts) to whom they were delivered.

He became well known for his charitable works, including some that could be described as unorthodox, for example during a period of severe food shortages "secretly [selling] sacrament ornaments of the church and a valuable holy robe, fashioned with gold thread that the emperor Constantine had once donated for the bishop to wear when he performed the rite of Baptism” [a]

"Cyril of Jerusalem is often renowned for his beliefs in the nature of Jesus and God. His writings are filled with the loving and forgiving nature of god which was somewhat uncommon during his time period. Many religious leaders focusing on the wrath of god instilling a fear in their members. Cyril fills his writings with great lines of the healing power of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit like 'The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden for God is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as the Spirit approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen and to console'. Cyril truly believes in the forgiving aspect of Christianity and knows the power it holds to turn those in pain towards the light of god. Cyril himself followed Gods message of forgiveness himself many times throughout his life. Most clearly seen in his two major exiles where Cyril was disgraced and forced to leave his position and his people behind. He never wrote or showed any ill will towards those who wronged him." [b]


"Let us then, my brethren, endure in hope. Let us devote ourselves, side-by-side with our hoping, so that the God of the entire universe,
as he beholds our intention, may cleanse us from all sins, fill us with high hopes from what we have in hand, and grant us the change of heart that saves. God has called you, and you have your calling."

"Our actions have a tongue of their own; they have an eloquence of their own, even when the tongue is silent. For deeds prove the lover more than words."


Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God : that at the intercession of thy blessed Bishop Saint Cyril, we may learn to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent ; that we may be found worthy to be numbered for ever among the sheep that hear his voice.  Through the same.



[a] Cyril, . (1969). The works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

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