Faith & Life

CYRIL OF JERUSALEM

C. 315-386 / Feast – March 18

3/12/2015

Cyril lived when the Arian heresy was roiling Christianity. Raised and educated in Jerusalem, he was ordained by St. Maximus and succeeded him as bishop of Jerusalem around 350. His episcopate lasted until his death, but he spent 16 years in exile, turned out by emperors influenced by the Arian bishop of Caesarea who claimed ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Jerusalem. The Council of Antioch sent St. Gregory of Nyssa to investigate Cyril and his diocese. He reported that Jerusalem was rife with factionalism and Arianism, but that Cyril was orthodox. He is famous for his extant “Catechetical Instructions,” some of which consist almost entirely of carefully interwoven scriptural passages. Pope Leo XIII named him a doctor of the church in 1882.

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