Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria

27 June -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Teachers, page 473

Cyril was born in Alexandria and was first heard of as a young priest. He succeeded his uncle as Patriarch in the year 412 and began his great defence of the classical doctrines of God the Holy Trinity and of Jesus Christ as a unique and single Person within the Trinity. His chief adversary was the Patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, who taught that the Christ was both the Jesus who was made flesh in one of his Persons, the Human Person, and also the one who was Divine, a separate Person within the Godhead. The Nestorian party thus rejected the description of Mary as 'Theotokos', God-bearer, and also rejected the papal ruling that they comply with the orthodox views of Cyril. The Council of Ephesus was convened in the year 431 to rule on the matter and eventually gave its full support to Cyril, making the word Theotokos the touchstone of Christian orthodoxy. Cyril's writings give clear and unequivocal statements about the Real Presence of Christ in the eucharist and the position of Mary, the Theotokos, within the doctrine of her Son's incarnation. Cyril died at Alexandria in the year 444.