Today is the feast of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, from catechist to Doctor and Father of the Church

Jasjot Singh

Every March 18, the universal Church celebrates Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church. Saint Cyril was a bishop of Greek origin who lived in the fourth century, considered one of the most important exponents of the Patristic (period of the Fathers of the Church) for his contribution to the development and clarification of Christian doctrine. He is also remembered for having been Bishop of Jerusalem, at all times a faithful defender (apologist) and expositor of the correct doctrine.

catechist by vocation

Cyril was born near Jerusalem around the year 315. According to tradition, he was ordained a priest by Saint Maximus, bishop of the Holy City, who commissioned him to instruct the catechumens; a task that he carried out for many years and that later induced him to make crucial contributions to the theology of the sacraments -in particular baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist-.

As of the year 348, Cyril would succeed Maximus in the see of Jerusalem. It would be a period of 35 years, in the end, during which the saint was at the head of the Church of the ancient city. Unfortunately, of those three and a half decades, sixteen years were spent intermittently in exile, due to his orthodox writings and speeches, inspired by the Council of Nicaea, in which he faced Arianists and pagans, both politically and politically. in the ecclesial

In tune with Scripture and Tradition

Pope Benedict XVI recalled in the General Audience of June 27, 2007 that there are 24 writings of Saint Cyril that are preserved until today. These texts called “Catechesis” to dry, earned the saint the title of Doctor of the Church, granted by Pope Leo XIII in 1883. It is a set of sermons delivered in the Holy City about penance, sin, baptism and the Creed, for the purpose of instructing catechumens and newly baptized. According to the Pope Emeritus, there is in these texts a development of sacramental theology at various levels, perfectly integrated into the liturgy of Christian initiation, which the faithful constantly renew: “The catechesis of Saint Cyril, based on the three dimensions described -doctrinal , moral and mystagogical – is a global catechesis in the Spirit. The mystagogical dimension [iniciación cristiana] it carries out the synthesis of the first two, orienting them to the sacramental celebration, in which the salvation of the whole man is accomplished”.

On the other hand, Saint Cyril collects in his work important notes about Christian symbols, such as the Cross of the Lord or the rock that closed the Holy Sepulchre. The interest in these subjects was an inheritance from Saint Macarius, former bishop of the Holy City, who according to tradition supported Saint Helena in the search for the sacred relics of Christ.

conciliate father

The history of the Church reminds us of the importance of Saint Cyril’s participation in the Council of Constantinople (the second ecumenical council in history) held between May and June of the year 381. Due to his thorough argumentation against Arianism, the council fathers they came to refer to him in these terms: “Brave fighter to defend the Church from heretics who deny the truths of our religion”; in which two important characteristics of the saint, necessary in every catechist, are underlined: courage and capacity for spiritual struggle. Arianism was a position that affirmed that Christ had been created, an affirmation that concluded in the denial of the divinity of Christ and the ignorance of God as Holy Trinity.

Saint Cyril died in Jerusalem in the year 386.

Do you want to know more about Saint Cyril? You can read this article from the Catholic Encyclopedia: https://ec.aciprensa.com/wiki/San_Cirilo_de_Jerusalem

To learn more about this saint enter HERE

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