June 9 St. Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria

Read the Life of St. Cyril here

In his youth Cyril entered the monastery of Macarius in the Nitreia hills, where he stayed for six years.

After being chosen as the Patriarch of Alexandria, Cyril led the struggle against the spread of the Novatian heresy in Alexandria, which taught that any Christian who had fallen away from the Church during a time of persecution, could not be received back into it.

Cyril guided the Alexandrian Church for 32 years.

Cyril died in the year 444, leaving behind many works. In particular, the following ought to be mentioned: commentaries On the Gospel of Luke, On the Gospel of John, On the Epistles of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians and to the Hebrews.

He is also remembered on January 18, the date of his flight from Alexandria.

Today, June 9, 2016 is also the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. Theodore from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

With the godly utterance of thy discourses, O sacred Cyril, the whole Church is adorned and piously ornamented with comely beauties, and honoreth in sacred manner thy holy and right excellent memory, O boast of the Orthodox, summit of the fathers, champion of the most holy Virgin at the council.

Receiving light-giving grace from God, O Cyril, and revealed as a radiant beacon, thou hast shone forth upon the rays of the Word by thy commemoration, that we may hymn thee as is meet.

As a keeper of the commandments of Christ thou wast full of the effulgence of the Spirit, O all-wise Cyril, having been cleansed of the passions; and thou truly becamest a dwelling-place of the all-divine Trinity.

As one full of zeal and boldness, O glorious Cyril, contending for the right Faith thou hast truly denounced the God-opposing blasphemies of impious heresies.

Strengthened in Christ, O Cyril, with steadfast mind thou didst destroy the wiles of the evil serpent like a spider's web.

Thou didst shake off the mire of the passions from thy soul, O Cyril, and cast down the uprising of every thought which exalteth itself against Christ.

As a successful athlete, O father, thou didst steadily turn away from every carnal pleasure as harmful and detrimental.

Seeing thee, O God-bearing father Cyril, who vanquished the soul-corrupting
passions and restrained carnal thoughts, Christ set thee as a primate of His divine

Inheriting the paternal virtue of Mark as a beloved son, thou wast a successor of his divine throne, following in the footsteps of the evangelist.

Tended by Christ like a lamb, O father, like a shepherd thou didst pasture thy flock on thy spiritually nourishing discourses, feeding them grace as though it were grass and flowers.

Thy discourse, O Cyril, was like unto a mighty torrent which floodeth rivers, scouring away the craftiness of the heretics.

The vile division of Arius and the abominable confusion of Sabellius didst thou equally consign to the abyss, O Cyril.

O Cyril, thou hast left to the Church of Christ thine enriching discourses like gold and thy treasuries like precious stones.

With tongs the seraph gave the prophet an ember, and by thy hands, O initiate of sacred mysteries, thou givest to the Church of Christ a purifying ember from the divine Fire.

Thou didst not destroy aliens like Samson, but didst cast down all the foreign doctrines of the heterodox and hast given might to the Orthodox, O Cyril.

Manifestly heading the divinely elect council, O father, thou didst cast down the impiety of Nestorius and his Christ-opposing audacity, O father, breathing forth with zeal for the true Mother of God.

When the great, beauteous and radiant sun showeth itself at dawn, darkness is driven away and the moon retreateth, for night cannot abide it: it shineth forth with the light of day, illumineth the air, showeth forth the sky as beautiful for us, adorning the earth and causing plants to grow, it maketh bright the sea and also adorneth the whole world. Alike in all is the most radiant Cyril, whose wise teachings save the world. For he illumineth the souls of the faithful therewith and ever vanquisheth heresies with piety; for he is the guide for all lands, revealing things divine.

Moses of old, entering the darkness on Mount Sinai, received the law which slayeth by the letter; but thou, O blessed Cyril, hast disclosed the hidden beauty of the Spirit.

As revelation was made to the children of old in the indistinct images of the law, O father, thou didst lift the lid from the cup given thee, opening it like a rose of understanding, most manifestly speaking in images.

Theologizing the three Hypostases in unconfused divine unity and manifestly indivisible distinction, O father Cyril, thou didst utter immutable truths concerning the one Essence and Godhead.

Like a wave of the sea did the well-spring of wisdom truly flow forth in thee; for ever-flowing rivers of the doctrines of piety issued forth from within thee, as Christ foretold, O father; for thy divinely chosen words surpass the sands.

Thou wast a wise pastor and teacher of the Church, O venerable Cyril, manifestly interpreting both covenants; for, possessing thy discourses as an anchor and a paternal inheritance, it crieth out: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

Thou teachest the ineffable union of the Word, the Fashioner of all, Who became incarnate for our sake, which is indivisible and unconfused, O Cyril, and didst incline towards an individual will for each nature, crying: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!

O Cyril, thou didst cast down the disdain directed against the understanding of Christ and His divine Mother, and all the might of the ungodly Nestorius, the dual son-ship, and the mingling of essences of the Acephalites.

With the power of understanding and the enlightenment of grace, O blessed one, thou didst theologize concerning the consubstantial Trinity and the incarnate Word of God; and showing thyself to be champion of the Theotokos, thou art now glorified in the highest.

O ever-memorable father, thou dost mercifully look down from on high upon us who hymn thee, granting victory over all heresies to our right-believing hierarchs, by thy supplications lifting up the horn of the Orthodox, and illumining those who magnify thy memory.