CYRIL I. Saint and patriarch

CYRIL I. Saint and patriarch

Cyril was the 24th patriarch of Alexandria (412-444). He was the nephew of his predecessor, Patriarch . Part of his “Life” survives in Coptic and the entire “Life” was translated into Arabic in the History of the . He studied in Alexandria and he may have spent a few years in Scetis. He was elected to the patriarchate soon after the death of his uncle.

Cyril was a prolific writer, writing commentaries on the Gospels of John, Luke, and Matthew, the Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, and Hebrews, as well as commentaries on the minor prophets, the Pentateuch, and the Book of Isaiah. Unfortunately, only a few works of his corpus have been translated into English and published. Cyril also wrote dogmatic works against Arianism, such as the Thesaurus and Dialogue on the Trinity. But his main contribution was against Nestorianism, where he played a pivotal role in the movement to affirm the title of Theotokos (God-Bearer). Cyril was also a good bishop and pastor.

In Coptic we possess part of the Twelve Anathemas from a manuscript of the White Monastery, a homily on penitence, a homily on the time of death, a homily on the Apocalypse, a homily on the three young men in the furnace, a homily on St. Athanasius, a fragment of the Thesaurus, his first festal letter, a homily on the Virgin Mary, a homily on the Nativity, a dialogue with Anthemus and Stephen, and some letters, attributed to St. Cyril. The Egyptian liturgy of St. Mark is also attributed to St. Cyril. It seems that Cyril played an important role in revising this liturgy.