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Optional Memorial of Saint Cyril of Alexandria, bishop, and doctor of the Church


Reading 1 2 Tm 4:1-5

Beloved: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.


REFLECTION


In the history of the Church, after Jesus died, rose from the dead, and Ascended into heaven, the Good News was spread by Jesus' Apostles and His followers. St. Mark was believed to have traveled to Egypt to preach and evangelize there. Soon the Christian faith spread to an ancient city in Egypt, Alexandria, a port city in Northern Africa under Roman rule since 30 BC.


When Constantine became Emperor he made Christianity legal with the Edict of Milan in 313. During this time major Christian centers of learning were established in Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople, and Alexandria and this climate cultivated theological debates and developments in theology.


It was in the 4th Century when St. Athanasius was Bishop of Alexandria that Arian heresy began to spread. Tirelessly, Athanasius fought to correct this error of thinking even during years of exile. Finally, he defeated Arianism. Yet other heresies were popping up fifty years after Athanasius died.


St, Cyril of Alexandria became Bishop of Alexandria. Cyril was intelligent and had sound theological knowledge. He was most anxious to defend the two natures of Jesus Christ (His Divine and Human natures) and that Mary was Theotokos, the Mother of God.


A heresy from Constantinople circulated by a priest who challenged that Mary was the Mother of God, but that she was the Mother of Christ (Christotokos). This heresy was known as Nestorianism (Nestorious was the Patriarch of Constantinople).


Quickly, St. Cyril came to the defense at the Council of Ephesus. He said that there was only "one Person in Christ, both human and divine. This made Mary not only the mother of her human Son but also the mother of His personhood, thereby justifying her title as the Mother of God." Cyril's teaching was consistent with earlier teachings of the Church Fathers. The bishops voted to accept his explanation and then they voted that Nestorious' teaching should be condemned. Nestorius would not concede to the Council's ruling and so he was sent into exile. After this St. Cyril was known as the "Guardian of Exactitude" and "Seal of the Fathers."


For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.


History proves that the Holy Spirit will send the Catholic Church a champion to correct and guide the Church back to the Truths passed down since its beginning.

Many Popes, Bishops, and priests have guarded the "deposit of the faith" which comes from Sacred Scripture, the inspired Word of God, and Sacred Tradition (teachings passed down by the teaching authority of the Church).


St. Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, was one of those champions. Today we must pray for the Cardinals and Bishops who are committed to guarding and teaching the Truths of the Catholic Church.


Let us pray the PAPA Prayer for Priests and the Dakaena to the Holy Spirit for all Cardinals, Bishops, and priests to preach and be loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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