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June 27

Saint of the day:

Saint Cyril of Alexandria

Patron Saint of Alexandria

Saint Cyril of Alexandria's Story

St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (June 27) Cyril was born at Alexandria, Egypt. He was nephew of the patriarch of that city, Theophilus. Cyril received a classical and theological education at Alexandria and was ordained by his uncle. He accompanied Theophilus to Constantinople in 403 and was present at the Synod of the Oak that deposed John Chrysostom, whom he believed guilty of the charges against him. He succeeded his uncle Theophilus as patriarch of Alexandria on Theophilus' death in 412, but only after a riot between Cyril's supporters and the followers of his rival Timotheus. Cyril at once began a series of attacks against the Novatians, whose churches he closed; the Jews, whom he drove from the city; and governor Orestes, with whom he disagreed about some of his actions. In 430 Cyril became embroiled with Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople, who was preaching that Mary was not the Mother of God since Christ was Divine and not human, and consequently she should not have the word theotokos (God-bearer) applied to her. He persuaded Pope Celestine I to convoke a synod at Rome, which condemned Nestorius, and then did the same at his own synod in Alexandria. Celestine directed Cyril to depose Nestorius, and in 431, Cyril presided over the third General Council at Ephesus, attended by some two hundred bishops, which condemned all the tenets of Nestorius and his followers before the arrival of Archbishop John of Antioch and forty-two followers who believed Nestorius was innocent. When they found what had been done, they held a council of their own and deposed Cyril. Emperor Theodosius II arrested both Cyril and Nestorius but released Cyril on the arrival of Papal Legates who confirmed the council's actions against Nestorius and declared Cyril innocent of all charges. Two years later, Archbishop John, representing the moderate Antiochene bishops, and Cyril reached an agreement and joined in the condemnation, and Nestorius was forced into exile. During the rest of his life, Cyril wrote treatises that clarified the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation and that helped prevent Nestorianism and Pelagianism from taking long-term deep root in the Christian community. He was the most brilliant theologian of the Alexandrian tradition. His writings are characterized by accurate thinking, precise exposition, and great reasoning skills. Among his writings are commentaries on John, Luke, and the Pentateuch, treatises on dogmatic theology, and Apologia against Julian the Apostate, and letters and sermons. He was declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1882. His feast day is June 27th.





Read his Books:



Cyril of Alexandria became noted in Church history because of his spirited fight for

the title "Theotokos" during the First Council of Ephesus (431).



In the Orthodox Church, people learn to call Mary, not just Theotokos, Mother of God, but Mother; mother of themselves, mother of their husband/wife,  and mother of their children. The Theotokos was the first Christian, the first to declare the divinity of the Child within her. 

For 13 years, Mary, herself, prepared to become the mother of Jesus. She wasn’t just some random Jewish uterus chosen by God for convenience.

Mary was an integral part to God’s plan for salvation. Without Mary, the Theotokos, mankind would have no hope.
True Theotokos, we magnify you.

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And His mercy is on them who fear Him from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:46-50 KJV)



Mother of God (Theotokos)
The God-Bearer


By Deacon Keith Fournier

From antiquity, Mary has been called "Theotokos", or "God-Bearer" (Mother of God). The word in Greek is "Theotokos". The term was used as part of the popular piety of the early first millennium church. It is used throughout the Eastern Church's Liturgy, both Orthodox and Catholic. It lies at the heart of the Latin Rite's deep Marian piety and devotion. This title was a response to early threats to 'orthodoxy', the preservation of authentic Christian teaching. A pronouncement of an early Church Council, The Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., insisted "If anyone does not confess that God is truly Emmanuel, and that on this account the holy virgin is the "Theotokos" (for according to the flesh she gave birth to the word of God become flesh by birth) let him be anathema." (The Council of Ephesus, 431 AD)

The Council's insistence on the use of the title reflected an effort to preserve the teaching of the Church that Jesus was both Divine and human, that the two natures were united in His One Person. Not only was that teaching under an assault then, it is under an assault now, and failing to "get it right" has extraordinary implications. The reason that the early Church Council pronounced this doctrine was "Christological", meaning that it had to do with Jesus Christ. One of the threats was from an interpretation of the teachings of a Bishop of Constantinople named Nestorius. Some of his followers insisted on calling Mary only the "Mother of 'the Christ'". The Council insisted on the use of the title (in the Greek) "Theotokos,"("Mother of God" or "God-bearer") to reaffirm the central truth of what occurred in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Rejection of the truth revealed in this beautiful title of Mary has led to a diminution in the understanding and role of Mary, impeding some Christians from grasping a deeper truth concerning the meaning of Mary's life - her Fiat, her "Yes" to God's Will. It is a privation, leading to a reduced understanding of the call to every Christian to live our lives for God as Mary did. It has undermined our mission to bring the world to the new world, recreated in her Son, the Church which is His Body on earth and a seed of the Kingdom which is to come. The Church, of which we are members through baptism, continues His redemptive mission until he returns.

When we fail to receive the gift of Mary as Mother we can also miss the call of every Christian to bear Jesus for the world as she did. It is time to re-examine the deeper implications of the treasure that is found in the life example and message of the little Virgin of Nazareth. This wonderful title, Mary, the Mother of God, "Theotokos", reveals a profound truth not only about Mary, but about each one of us. We are now invited into the very relationship that she had with her Son. We can become "God-bearers" and bring Him to all those whom we encounter in our few short days under the sun.





  • 3 large eggplants

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (you will need more if your pan is not non stick)

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced

  • 3 jalapeños (fresh or preserved), chopped
    (you can use less if you don't like it too hot)

  • 2 x 400g tins chopped or crushed tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp allspice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180.
2. Slice the eggplant thickly. Heat the oil in a large frypan and fry the eggplant on both sides until just softened (doesn't need to be completely cooked). The eggplant soaks up the oil so you will have to replenish the oil between batches, if you use a non stick frypan you will use less oil.
3. Place about half the eggplant pieces in a layer along the bottom of a large lasagne dish. Top with the onions and jalapeños and then layer the remaining eggplant over the top.
4. Combine the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, water, allspice and salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 5 minutes and then pour it all over the eggplant.
5. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes (or until the onion is cooked through).

Serves 4-6.

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