St Cyril of Jerusalem – Feast Day – March 18

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St Cyril of Jerusalem was the bishop in Jerusalem.

He fought the Arian Heresy in the fourth century.

He was born in 315 AD in Jerusalem and died on March 18 386 AD.

We celebrate his feast day on March 18 every year in the Catholic Church.

St Cyril of Jerusalem Biography
St Cyril of Jerusalem - Feast Day - March 18
St Cyril of Jerusalem – Feast Day – March 18
Date of Birth 315 AD
Place of Birth Jerusalem
Profession Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church
Place of Work Jerusalem
Date of Death 386 AD (aged 71)
Place of Death Jerusalem
Feast Day March 18
Canonization Pre-Congregation
Patron Saint of  

St Cyril of Jerusalem Life History

St Cyril of Jerusalem was believed to have been born in the vicinity of Jerusalem and showed familiarity with the works of early Christian theologians and Greek philosophers.

In approximately 335 AD, he was made a deacon by Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem, and later on, he was ordained as a priest by Bishop Maximus after eight years.

Cyril was then entrusted by his bishop to lead the education of catechumens. When Bishop Maximus passed away towards the end of 350 AD, Cyril took over as the Bishop of Jerusalem.

Cyril’s appointment was met with criticism from the orthodox due to his perceived support from the Arian bishop of Caesarea, Acacius.

The Arians, on the other hand, saw Cyril as an ally. However, both sides were mistaken in their assumptions, and Cyril found himself caught in the middle of their conflict.

Cyril’s relationship with Metropolitan Acacius of Caesarea deteriorated over time, as Acacius was considered a prominent figure in the Arian movement.

In the 350s, Acacius opposed Cyril due to his efforts to combat Arianism, which is the belief that Jesus was not divine or of the same substance as the Father.

Despite this opposition, Cyril persisted in his fight against Arianism, and he lived to witness its eventual suppression and condemnation at the end of his life.

The root cause of the conflict between Acacius and Cyril was not their differing beliefs, but rather a territorial dispute.

As the bishop of Caesarea, Acacius held authority over all the bishops in Palestine. However, Cyril contested Acacius’ jurisdiction over Jerusalem, arguing that it was an “apostolic see” – one of the original sees established by the apostles – and therefore not under Acacius’ authority.

This dispute over territorial jurisdiction eventually led to a further breakdown in their relationship.

In addition to the territorial dispute, the strained relationship between Acacius and Cyril was fueled by Acacius’ jealousy towards the importance given to the Diocese of Jerusalem by the Council of Nicaea.

Furthermore, the rising influence of the Jerusalem seat as a prominent Christian holy place and center of pilgrimage posed a threat to Caesarea, which likely added to the tension between the two bishops.

Cyril’s absence from councils called by Bishop Acacius led to further accusations and tension between the two bishops.

Specifically, Acacius accused Cyril of selling church property without permission to feed the starving people of Jerusalem during a period of severe food shortages in the city.

This accusation further strained their relationship and fueled the ongoing conflict between them.

Despite Acacius’ repeated summons, Cyril resisted for two years before eventually being deposed in his absence at a church council held under Acacius’ influence in 357 AD. After his deposition, Cyril sought refuge with Silvanus, the Bishop of Tarsus.

In 359, amidst a more hostile environment towards Acacius, the Council of Seleucia reinstated Cyril as the Bishop of Jerusalem and deposed Acacius.

However, the following year in 360, Emperor Constantius reversed this decision, leading to another year of exile for St Cyril of Jerusalem. It was not until the accession of Emperor Julian in 361 AD that Cyril was able to return to Jerusalem.

This back-and-forth reinstatement and deposition of Cyril, as well as the reversal of decisions by Emperor Constantius, exemplifies the complex and tumultuous nature of the ongoing conflict between Cyril and Acacius, as well as the influence of politics and power struggles in the early Christian Church.

Despite his earlier reinstatement and return to Jerusalem, Cyril was banished once again from the city by the Arian Emperor Valens in 367 AD.

However, following Valens’ death in 378 AD, Cyril was able to return to Jerusalem once more. From then on, he remained in the city undisturbed until his death in 386 AD.

This period of relative peace allowed Cyril to focus on his work as the Bishop of Jerusalem and to further develop the Christian community in the region.

Upon his return to Jerusalem, Cyril found that the city was still struggling with heresy and internal strife. Despite his best efforts, he was not able to fully resolve these issues during his lifetime.

However, Cyril did attend the First Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, where his jurisdiction over Jerusalem was confirmed and the Nicene Creed was affirmed, with Arianism finally being condemned.

At this council, Cyril was also cleared of any previous accusations and was commended for his efforts in fighting against the Arians.

This recognition and support from the Council served as a validation of Cyril’s life’s work and legacy in the Christian Church.

At the First Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, Cyril voted in favor of accepting the term “consubstantial,” which defined the nature of the relationship between “God the Father” and “God the Son,” stating that Christ is of the same substance or nature as the Father.

Although Cyril had previously been hesitant about accepting this term, he was finally convinced that there was no better alternative.

His support of the consubstantiality doctrine played a significant role in the council’s affirmation of the Nicene Creed and its condemnation of Arianism, which had denied the divinity of Christ.

St Cyril of Jerusalem’s most notable and surviving work is a collection of 23 lectures, known as Catecheses, that he delivered to those preparing for baptism in Jerusalem.

The first 18 lectures were given during Lent and were based on the Jerusalem baptismal creed, while the final five lectures were given to the newly baptized during the week following Easter.

These lectures covered a range of theological and moral topics, including the nature of God, the sacraments, the role of the Holy Spirit, and Christian ethics.

In recognition of his contributions to the Christian Church, St Cyril of Jerusalem was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1883 by Pope Leo XIII

Today’s Catholic Quote and Prayer

May the example of St Cyril of Jerusalem inspire and guide all catechists, both ordained and lay, to devote themselves wholeheartedly to teaching the truths of the faith with generosity and unwavering commitment.

May they persevere in their mission despite challenges, rejection, or opposition, always remembering that their fidelity to the Lord and His Church is the ultimate goal.

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About Laban Thua Gachie 10762 Articles
The founder of is Laban Thua Gachie. I am a Commissioned Lector, a commissioned Liturgy Minister, and a Commissioned member of the Catholic Men Association. We at Catholic Daily Readings, operate the, a Catholic Church-related website and we pride ourself in providing you, on a daily basis the following; 1. Catholic Daily Mass Readings 2. Reflections on those Daily Readings 3. Daily prayers 4. Bible Verse of the Day 5. Saint of the Day