Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Bishop & Theologian

Today the Church remembers, honors and celebrates the life and ministry of St. Cyril of Jerusalem who was a bishop and a theologian during the Patristic period of the Church, that being the from about 100 A.D. to about 500 A.D.

Cyril was born in Jerusalem about the year 315 A.D. (there is disagreement), and died in 386.  His parents were probably Christians and he had great love and respect for them.  After being ordained a deacon and then a priest, his bishop, St. Maximus, respected him enough to put him in charge of the instruction of catechumens. We still have these catechetical lectures of Cyril’s that were written down by someone in the congregation.

When Maximus died, Cyril was consecrated bishop of Jerusalem; however, he was caught between two groups, Arians (who believe Jesus was not also true God as well as true man), and orthodox believers. 

When a famine hit Jerusalem, the poor turned to Cyril for help. Cyril, seeing the poor starving to death and having no money, sold some of the goods of the churches. This was something that other bishops did, including St. Ambrose and our own St. Augustine, and it probably saved many lives.

Cyril’s time as bishop was fraught with problems coming from all sorts of sectors, and he wound up being away from his diocese for a number of years because of it.  This time was a turbulent one for the Church as doctrine was being ironed out; nevertheless, Cyril tried to do his best to keep out ideas that were not faithful to the teaching handed down by the apostles.

Let us pray:  Strengthen, O Lord, the bishops of your Church in their special calling to be teachers and ministers of the Sacraments, so that they, like your servant Cyril of Jerusalem, may effectively instruct your people in Christian faith and practice; and that we, taught by them, may enter more fully into celebration of the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


Wednesday, 20 March at 6 p.m. the Lenten Series continues at Grace with the Rev. Dr. Pittman McGehee as the speaker.

Choir practice this Thursday evening in the Church.

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Gladys and Randy.

Your servant in Christ,

The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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