Biography of St. Cyril, the Archbishop of Jerusalem


Biography of St. Cyril, the Archbishop of Jerusalem

St. Cyryl, Archbishop of Jerusalem and one o the „Doctors of the Chuch”, was born most probably in Jerusalem about 316 A.D, just about the time the emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire (313 A.D) and reposed in peace probably 18 March 386 A.D., shortly after the Secpnd Ecumenical Council of Constantinopole (381 A.D) which completed the Creed often known as the Nicene Creed. In. the East his feast in observed on the 18th of March. Little is known of his life. We gather information concerning him from his younger contemporaries, Epiphanius, Jerome and Rufinus, as well as from the fifh-century historians, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret.

He spent his whole life in Jerusalem where he was consecrated deacon in 335 A.D., by bishop Makarius and presbyte in 345 A.D., by bishop Maximus. Finally, he was consecrated bishop of the Holy City of David about 348 A.D. by Acacius of Caesarea succeeding Maximus. St Cyril was banished from his Jerusalem see a total of three times for his bold proclamation of faith in Christ`s full divinity during a time when many bishops and emperors were in favour of various from of the Arian heresy. Being zealous for the Orthodox faith, he was exiled three times by the Arian Emperors Constantius and Valens.

St. Cyril attended the great Council of Constantinopole in 381 A.D., the Second Ecumenical Council, at which Theodosius ordered the Nicene faith (the one of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.), now a low of the empire, to be promylgated. According to the Second Council of Constantinople St. Cyrill proved himself to be one of the greatest fighters against Arianism.

The extant work of St. Cyril of Jerusalem include a sermon on the Pool of Bethesda, a letter to the Emperor Constantius describing a wonderful cross of light extending from Golgotha to the Mount of Olives, a cross which appeared in the air during the celebration of Pentecost in 351 A.D., four small fragments of other homilies of his, and the famous „Catecheses”, which are presented in this book and which are among the most precious remains of Christian antiguity.

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