Today we celebrate our father among the saints, the God-bearing Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria.
It was St Athanasius the Great and St Cyril who earned for the church of Alexandria the title of Lighthouse of Orthodoxy. While St Athanasius vindicated the place of the Son of God in the Holy Trinity, St Cyril vindicated the hypostatic union of the human and the divine in Christ, perfect man and perfect God, the Word of God in the flesh, and so taught us that the Blessed Virgin Mary is truly and literally the Mother of God.
Please go to my blog entry for this day in 2016 for an account of St Cyril’s life and witness. Here I will just mention that, after almost ten years’ labour on my Seven Councils project, I am now doing the research for my presentation of the 3rd Œcumenical Council, the Council of Ephesus held in A.D. 431 under the Emperor Theodosius the younger. This work has shown me vividly just how great has been St Cyril’s contribution to the Church, a contribution that earned him the title ‘the Seal of the Fathers.’ For anyone who would like a deeper understanding of this contribution, I can recommend highly St Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy (St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2004), by the Romanian Orthodox priest and eminent church historian Fr John McGuckin.
Occasional comments by a convert to Orthodoxy.