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§ 168. Cyril of Jerusalem.


I. S. Cyrilus, archiepisc. Hierosolymitanus: Opera quae exstant omnia, &c., cura et studio Ant. Aug. Touttaei (Touttée), presb. et monachi Bened. e congreg. S. Mauri. Paris, 1720. 1 vol. fol. (edited after Touttée’s death by the Benedictine D. Prud. Maranus. Comp. therewith Sal. Deyling: Cyrillus Hieros. a corruptelis Touttaei aliorumque purgatus. Lips. 1728). Reprint, Venice, 1763. A new ed. by Migne, Petit-Montrouge, 1857 (Patrol. Gr. tom. xxxiii., which contains also the writings of Apollinaris of Laodicea, Diodor of Tarsus, and others). The Catecheses of Cyril have also been several times edited separately, and translated into modern languages. Engl. transl. in the Oxford Library of the Fathers, vol. ii. Oxf. 1839.

II. Epiphanius: Haer. lx. 20; lxxiii. 23, 27, 37. Hieronymus: De viris illustr. c. 112. Socrates: H. E. ii. 40, 42, 45; iii. 20. Sozomen: iv. 5, 17, 20, 22, 25. Theodoret: H. E. ii. 26, 27; iii. 14; v. 8. The Dissertationes Cyrillianae de vita et scriptis S. Cyr. &c. in the Benedictine edition of the Opera, and in Migne’s reprint, pp. 31–822. The Acta Sanctorum, and Butler, sub mense Martii 18. Tillemont: tom. viii. pp. 428–439, 779–787. Also the accounts in the well-known patristic works of Dupin, Ceillier, Cave, Fabricius. Schröckh: Part xii. pp. 369–476.


Cyrilus, presbyter and, after 350, bishop of Jerusalem, was extensively involved during his public life in the Arian controversies. His metropolitan, Acacius of Caesarea, an Arian, who had elevated him to the episcopal chair, fell out with him over the Nicene faith and on a question of jurisdiction, and deposed him at a council in 357. His deposition was confirmed by an Arian council at Constantinople in 360.

After the death of the emperor Constantius he was restored to his bishopric in 361, and in 363 his embittered adversary, Acacius, converted to the orthodox faith. When Julian encouraged the Jews to rebuild the temple, Cyril is said to have predicted the miscarriage of the undertaking from the prophecies of Daniel and of Christ, and he was justified by the result. Under the Arian emperor Valens he was again deposed and banished, with all the other orthodox bishops, till he finally, under Theodosius, was permitted to return to Jerusalem in 379, to devote himself undisturbed to the supervision and restoration of his sadly distracted church until his death.

He attended the ecumenical council in Constantinople in 381, which confirmed him in his office, and gave him the great praise of having suffered much from the Arians for the faith. He died in 386, with his title to office and his orthodoxy universally acknowledged, clear of all the suspicions which many had gathered from his friendship with Semi-Arian bishops during his first exile.19801980   His sentiments on the holy Trinity are discussed at length in the third preliminary dissertation of the Bened. editor (in Migne’s ed. p. 167 sqq.).

From Cyril we have an important theological work, complete, in the Greek original: his twenty-three Catecheses.19811981   Κατηχήσεις φωτιζομένων(or βαπτιζομένων), catecheses illuminandorum. They are preceded by a procatechesis. The work consists of connected religious lectures or homilies, which he delivered while presbyter about the year 347, in preparing a class of catechumens for baptism. It follows that form of the Apostles’ Creed or the Rule of Faith which was then in use in the churches of Palestine and which agrees in all essential points with the Roman; it supports the various articles with passages of Scripture, and defends them against the heretical perversions of his time. The last five, called the Mystagogic Catecheses,19821982   Κατηχήσεις μυσταγωγικαί. The name is connected with the mysterious practices of the disciplina arcani of the early church. Comp. the conclusion of the first Mystagogic Catechesis, c. 11 (Migne, p. 1075). The mystagogic lectures are also separately numbered. The first is a general exhortation to the baptized on 1 Pet. v. 8; the second treats De baptismo; the third, De chrismate; the fourth, De corpore et sanguine Christi; the fifth, De sacra liturgia et communione. are addressed to newly baptized persons, and are of importance in the doctrine of the sacraments and the history of liturgy. In these he explains the ceremonies then customary at baptism: Exorcism, the putting off of garments, anointing, the short confession, triple immersion, confirmation by the anointing oil; also the nature and ritual of the holy Supper, in which he sees a mystical vital union of believers with Christ, and concerning which he uses terms verging at least upon the doctrine of transubstantiation. In connection with this he gives us a full account of the earliest eucharistic liturgy, which coincides in all essential points with such other liturgical remains of the Eastern church, as the Apostolic Constitutions and the Liturgy of St. James.

The Catecheses of Cyril are the first example of a popular compend of religion; for the catechetical work of Gregory of Nyssa (λόγος κατηχητικὸς ὁ μέγας) is designed not so much for catechumens, as for catechists and those intending to become teachers.

Besides several homilies and tracts of very doubtful genuineness, a homily on the healing of the cripple at Bethesda19831983   Homilia in paralyticum, John v. 2-16 (in Migne’s ed. pp. 1131-1158). and a remarkable letter to the emperor Constantius of the year 351, are also ascribed to Cyril.19841984   Ep. ad Constantium imper. De viso Hierosolymus lucidae crucis signo, pp. 1154-1178. In the letter he relates to the emperor the miraculous appearance of a luminous cross extending from Golgotha to a point over the mount of Olives (mentioned also by Socrates, Sozomen, and others), and calls upon him to praise the “consubstantial Trinity.”19851985   Τὴν ἁγίαν καὶ ὁμοούσιον Τριάδα, τὸν ἀληθινὸν Θεὸν ἡμῶν, ωὟͅ πρέπει πᾶσα δόξα εἰς τοὺς · αἰῶνος τῶν αἰώνων.



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