Saint Cyril of Jerusalem – March 18th

St. Cyril was falsely accused of practicing Arianism, but was vindicated both by the men of his own time and by being declared a Doctor of the Church in 1822. Raised in Jerusalem and well-educated, Cyril was ordained a priest by the bishop of Jerusalem and given the task of catechizing those preparing for Baptism and the newly baptized. One of the bishops of his province was an Arian, so it may have been expected that his “cooperation” would follow. Conflict soon rose and Cyril was summoned to a council, accused of insubordination and of selling Church property to relieve the poor. He was condemned, driven from Jerusalem, but later vindicated. Half his episcopate was spent in exile; his first experience was repeated twice. He finally returned to find Jerusalem torn with heresy, schism and strife, and wracked with crime. Even Saint Gregory of Nyssa, who was sent to help, left in despair. They both went to the Council of Constantinople, where the amended form of the Nicene Creed was promulgated in 381. Cyril accepted the word consubstantial–that is, Christ is of the same substance or nature as the Father. Those who imagine that the lives of saints are simple and untouched by controversy, are rudely shocked by history. It should be no surprise that saints, indeed all Christians, will experience the same difficulties as their Master. From Franciscanmedia.org.

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