Cyril, Saint (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

Cyril, Saint (Saint Cyril of Alexandria) sĭrˈəl [key], d. a.d. 444, patriarch of Alexandria (412–44), Doctor of the Church, known for his animosity toward heretics and heathens. He drove the Jews from Alexandria, and under his rule Hypatia was killed. The great episode in his career was his struggle against Nestorianism, which culminated in the Council of Ephesus in 431 (see Ephesus, Council of). There Cyril presided and had the full support of Pope Celestine I. He returned triumphant, but he continued to be opposed by the Antiochene bishops, who tended toward Nestorianism; consequently, they stayed out of communion with Alexandria, and so with the church, for two years. In 433, Cyril consented to a compromise with Antioch by declaring that Christ had two natures, human and divine, and that in speaking of one nature he meant one Person. St. Cyril wrote much on theology, particularly on the problem of the Trinity. His doctrines, though deemed orthodox in his time, were in a sense a preface to those of Eutyches and of Monophysitism. Feast: Feb. 9.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Saints