Who is our Patron Saint?
St. Cyril was born in the year 315. He was brought up in Jerusalem by his parents who were probably Christians. He was given an excellent education and later acquired a wide knowledge of the text of the Holy Scripture. He was ordained a priest at the age of 30 in the year 345. He was given the duty of instructing and preparing the people for baptism, because of his in-depth knowledge of scripture.
The early church was very involved in conversion as only approximately 2% of the population of Jerusalem were Christians around this time.
St. Cyril wrote many papers and lectures on the subject, in fact they are still in use today in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, (R.C.I.A.).
The aim of the papers and lectures was/is to initiate the catechumens in the fundamental doctrines of Christian faith, and life, and to explain the main sacraments of the church to the newly baptized.
St. Cyril became the Bishop of Jerusalem in 350.
The church was going through bitter religious controversy in this period and St. Cyril was expelled three times, once he was charged for having sold church property during a famine to help feed the poor, which seems a silly reason, but there was a lot of turmoil at the time.
While he was Bishop, reports of a miraculous apparition of a bright cross appearing in the sky surfaced. It was two miles long and reached from Mount Calvery where Jesus died to Mount Olivet where Jesus suffered the Agony in the Garden.
History implies that perhaps this was a sign of the great persecutions the Church had to suffer in this period. (Our School sign is the large “C” for St. Cyril and the gray cross as mentioned above).
St. Cyril died in the year 386 at the age of 71. He was proclaimed a doctor of the church by Pope Leo XIII in the year 1893. We celebrate his feast day on March 18th.