Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
Feast day: March
Cyril spent his whole life in Jerusalem, where he was consecrated
deacon in 335, by Bishop Makarius, and presbyter in 345, by Bishop
Maximus, and where he finally became bishop himself.
In the Arian controversy he tried to maintain a neutral position but
he did not succeed. After the death of Maximus Cyril became bishop by
the aid of this party. At all events he was consecrated by Acacius of
Cęsarea, who was an Arian. But the harmony between him and Acacius did
not last long.
According to the seventh canon of the Council of Nice, the Bishop of
Jerusalem ranked immediately after the Bishops of Rome. From this point
the disagreement began, but it was greatly inflamed by religious
Acacius cited Cyril before him, and when he declined to appear,
Acacius had him removed by a council of only a few bishops. Cyril
appealed to another and larger council held at Seleucia, and mostly
composed of Semi-Arians, and this council removed Acacius. But in 360 a
still larger council of Arians held in Constantinople, confirmed the
removal of Cyril, and it was only the accession of Julian which enabled
Cyril to return to his see.
During the last twenty years he lived in comparative peace and quiet,
though he was expelled twice more, under Valens.
Of the works ascribed to Cyril, the homilies are certainly false,
though with the exception of the one on the impotent man at the Pool of
Bethesda, first published by Thomas Mules in 1703, which seems to be
genuine. But the catecheses, or catechetical lectures, are genuine, and
are of the greatest interest, both for the history of the Christian
dogmas, and for the true understanding of the liturgy and catechetical
methods of the ancient Church.