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Saint Cyril of Jerusalem
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

Feast Day
Mar 18, 2013
<p>It is believed that Cyril was born and brought up in Caesarea of Palestine in a family of Christians, and that he was soon drawn to the Church.&nbsp; Other than that, very little is known of his life before he became a Bishop. &nbsp; We do know that Bishop St. Macarius of Jerusalem ordained him a Deacon in 355, and was ordained a Priest eight years later by Bishop St. Maximus.&nbsp; In 350 he succeeded St. Maximus in the See of Jerusalem. &nbsp;</p> <p>In a letter that Cyril wrote to Constantius of 351, he wrote about the appearance of a &ldquo;cross of light&rdquo; in the sky above Golgotha, witnessed by the entire population of Jerusalem.&nbsp; He regarded this as proof that Constantius&rsquo; piety towards God ensured his imperial victory.&nbsp; The Greek Church commemorates this miracle on May 7<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp; Soon after, the tensions between the Metropolitan of Caesarea and Cyril began to intensify.&nbsp; Also at this time, the influence of the See of Jerusalem was on the rise, as it became a prime Christian holy place of pilgrimage. &nbsp;</p> <p>St. Cyril became well known for his charitable works in the City of Jerusalem.&nbsp; An example &ndash; in the mid 350&rsquo;s the city of Jerusalem was hit with drastic food shortages at which point Cyril secretly sold sacramental ornaments of the Church and a valuable holy robe, fashioned with gold thread that the emperor Constantine had once donated for the Bishop to wear when he performed the rite of Baptism. &nbsp; It is also believed he sold ornaments and many imperial gifts all in the name of charity, to keep his people from starving.&nbsp; Besides his charitable works as Bishop, Cyril had many responsibilities in city life as well.&nbsp; These duties included the administration of justice, negotiating the ransom for captives, teaching and preaching to the masses, converting non-believers, spiritual guidance, political duties, and many other things.&nbsp; He eventually was officially charged with the selling off of Church property, and was exiled for a year.&nbsp; He was reinstated as Bishop upon his return.&nbsp; He remained there until he died in 386.&nbsp; He is highly respected and venerated in the Palestinian Christian Community.&nbsp; Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1883. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Cyril was born into a Christian family, and was drawn into the Church at an early age.&nbsp; He was ordained a Priest by St. Maximus, and In 350 he succeeded St. Maximus in the See of Jerusalem.&nbsp; He attended the First Council of Constantinople.&nbsp; He was noted for his charity as the Bishop of Jerusalem.&nbsp; His concern was how to assist his people from starving, during a famine one year.&nbsp; He secretly sold off valuable Church sacramentals and holy robes that had been given to him as gifts, in order to get enough food to feed his people.&nbsp; He was Bishop of Jerusalem, and had as many administrative duties on the secular side, as he did Episcopal duties to his Christian flock. &nbsp;</p>