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Cyril St

Cyril, St. (376-444). a militant bishop of Alexandria who was more noted for zeal than discretion. though doubtless allowance must be made for the troublous times in which his lot was cast. The measures for which he is chiefly memorable were the closing of the Novatian churches and the seizure of their treasures, the expulsion of 40,000 Jews upon a charge, possibly true, of ill-treating Christians, and his struggle with the time-serving governor of Orestes which culminated in the murder of Hypatia, the fair and famous neo-Platonic professor and lecturer. Charles Kingsley in his Hypatia gives a vivid picture of the times, and shows what a formidable instrument of aggression St. Cyril possessed in his army of fierce monks, but it is doubtful whether he has not allowed the more objectionable features of Cyril's policy to blind him to the difficulties he had to contend with. In later years the bishop's impetuous energy calmed down, and his opposition to the Nestorians was confined to writing against them and procuring their condemnation at the Council of Rome in 430, and at that of Ephesus in 431. With a view to ending the controversy the emperor Theodosius arrested both St. Cyril and Nestorius. When restored to liberty St. Cyril passed the rest of his life in peace. He has left numerous writings, vigorous in style, and many of them polemical in character. Among his works are Worship in Spirit and in Truth, A Commentary upon Isaiah and other Prophets, A Commentary on St. John's Gospel, and The Mystery of the Incarnation. His feast-day is the 28th of January.