CYRIL of ALEXANDRIA (Saint) Bishop, (January 28) Doctor of the Church. (5th century) By birth an Egyptian, and nephew of Saint Theophilus, whom he succeeded (A.D. 412) in the Patriarchate of Alexandria. From the outset he showed himself a zealous champion of the Catholic Faith. He was unsparing in his efforts to eradicate the last vestiges of Paganism, but that he was an abettor of the murder of Hypatia, the girl-philosopher, is, in the words of a Protestant writer, “an unsupported calumny.” He wrote Commentaries on the Holy Scriptures and other notable works, but his chief glory is his successful overthrowing of the subtle heresy of Nestorius (who taught that Christ was not truly God, but a mere man, the instrument of the Godhead, that is, that in Him there are two Persons), condemned in the great Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), which was presided over by Saint Cyril as Legate of Pope Saint Celestine. In this Council Our Lady’s title of Theotokos (Mother of God) was formally recognised. Intrigues at Constantinople led to Saint Cyril’s imprisonment, but liberated, in consequence of the strong action of the Pope, he returned to Alexandria, and there passed away in peace, January 28, 444. Leo XIII proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church and assigned February 9 as his Festival Day.