27 June 2008

Commemoration of St. Cyril of Alexandria

Today our Synod commemorates St. Cyril of Alexandria (as also does the Church of Rome and the ELCA). From our Synod's website:

Cyril (ca. A.D. 376-444) became archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt, in 412. Throughout his career he defended a number of orthodox doctrines, among them the teaching that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is "rightly called and truly is the Mother of God"--Theotokos, "the God-bearer" (Formula of Concord, VIII, Ep VIII, 12). In 431 the Council of Ephesus affirmed this teaching that the Son of Mary is also true God. The writings of Cyril on the doctrines of the Trinity and the person of Christ reveal him to be one of the most able theologians of his time. Cyril's Christology influenced subsequent church councils and was a primary source for Lutheran confessional writings.

St. Cyril is quoted many times in our Symbols (as indicated above) and figures largely in such works as Blessed Martin Chemnitz': *The Two Natures in Christ.* Like Dr. Luther, St. Cyril could be rather passionate and bitter in his polemics, but it was the zeal for God's house (the Church) that ate him up. His *Commentary on St. Luke* is a treasure trove of insight (and yes, Jimbo, I WILL give it back to you....sometime.)