Wednesday, 18 March 2015
18th March, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Confessor
During the season of Lent, the catechumens were committed to the care of a priest who had to instruct them. Like St. John Chrysostom at Antioch, and St. Augustine at Hippo, St. Cyril discharged this duty at Jerusalem. We still possess most of the admirable homilies, so pious and full of divine wisdom (Epistle), which he preached every day for seven weeks before Easter. between Prime and Terce. He there explains the Holy Scriptures, and during the sixth and seventh weeks the Creed, article by article. Wherefore the Church counts him among her Doctors (Introit). Having become bishop of Jerusalem (Communion) he was, like our Lord in the course of His public life (Gospel) the butt of injustice and persecution. Thrice exiled by the Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ, he always affirmed this great dogma (Collect), and was honourably replaced on his throne by the Emperor Theodosius. He then governed his church in peace, predicted that Julian the Apostate's efforts to restore the Temple of Jerusalem would be vain and took part in the Council of Constantinople, which again condemned the heresy of Arius, and that of Macedonius, who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost. He died in 386.
Let us sanctify our minds and hearts by penance, that we may deserve at Easter to be numbered for ever among the redeemed (Collect).
In medio Ecclesiae aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus: stolam gloriae induit eum. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and He filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. * It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O most High.
(Ecclesiasticus 15:5 and Psalm 91:2 from the Introit of Mass)
Da nobis quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, beato Cyrillo Pontifice intercedente: te solum verum Deum, et quem misisti Jesum Christum ita cognoscere; ut inter oves, quae vocem ejus audiunt, perpetuo connumerari mereamur.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, by the intercession of the blessed bishop Cyril, so to know Thee, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent, that we may be accounted worthy to be numbered for evermore among the sheep who hearken to His voice.
From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04595b.htm