Miniature Lives of the Saints – Saint Cyril, Martyr

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Saint Cyril suffered while still a boy at Caesarea in Cappadocia during the persecutions of the third century. He used to repeat the name of Christ at all times, and confessed that the mere utterance of this name moved him strangely. He was beaten and reviled by his heathen father. But he bore all this with joy, increasing in the strength of Christ who dwelt within him, and drawing many of his own age to the imitation ofhis heavenly life. When his father in his fury turned him out of doors, he said he had lost little, and would receive a great recompense instead.

Soon after he was brought before the magistrate on account of his faith. No threats could make him show a sign of fear, and the judge, pitying perhaps his tender years, offered him his freedom, assured him of his father’s forgiveness, and besought him to return to his home and inheritance. But the blessed youth replied, “I left my home gladly, for I have a greater and a better which is waiting for me.” He was filled with the same heavenly desires to the end. He was taken to the fire as if for execution, and was then brought back and re-examined, but he only protested against the cruel delay. Led out to die, he hurried on the executioners, gazed unmoved at the flames which were kindled for him, and expired, hastening, as he said, to his home.

Ask our Lord to make all earthly joy insipid, and to fill you with the constant desire of heaven. This desire will make labour easy and suffering light. It will make you fervent and detached, and bring you even here a foretaste of that eternal joy and peace to which you are hastening.

Quam sordet tellus dum cesium intueor – How vile earth seems when I look up to heaven! – Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Souls which are on fire with the desire of heaven long for death, and cannot understand the sorrow of those who would detain them from this sovereign good. Cyril rebuked the Christians who stood weeping around him. “You ought to laugh and rejoice,” he said, “and escort me with delight now that I am about to suffer. Surely you do not know the city in which I am going to dwell.” Their grief, however, was but for a moment, and the letter in which they relate his passion speaks only of their holy joy in the glory of the youthful martyr.

If our earthly house of this habitation be dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in heaven. 2nd Corinthians 5:1

MLA Citation

  • Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Saint Cyril, Martyr”. Miniature Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, 1877. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 February 2015. Web. 23 March 2017. <>