Short Lives of the Saints – Saint Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria

detail of a statue of Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Sameiro, Braga, Portugal; date unknown, artist unknown; photographed on 5 May 2013 by Joseolgon; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsEntry

It was to Saint Cyril, the great and zealous patriarch of Alexandria, that Pope Celestine I, in the fifth century, entrusted the important work of refuting the impious Nestorius. That unhappy man was striving to spread false doctrine throughout the Christian world, in infamously asserting that the Blessed Virgin, although the Mother of Christ, was not the Mother of God. A council at Rome in 430, and another at Ephesus in 431, confirmed the doctrine which Saint Cyril taught, in opposition to the false Nestorius; and the fathers of the council were borne aloft in triumph at Ephesus, the people crying aloud, “Blessed be ye who have restored to us our Mother!” Saint Cyril peacefully expired at Alexandria in 444.

And this we know: let all the world be dark,
  Dear Mary watches o’er our troubled sea;
And this we know: though unknown danger lurks
  In all our land, her pure heart is an ark
    In which we shelter, childlike, trustingly,
O heart unstained! the greatest of God’s works.
    – Maurice F. Egan

Favorite Practice – Frequently repeat, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

MLA Citation

  • Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly. “Saint Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria”. Short Lives of the Saints, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 April 2021. Web. 19 April 2021. <>