Saint Cyril of Alexandria

Feast day June 27

Saints Stories for All Ages

Cyril was born about 376 in Alexandria, Egypt. He became archbishop when his uncle, the former archbishop, died. During his first years in the position, he was severe with heretics and other people who caused trouble for the Christians. Later, he grew in the compassion of Jesus.

Cyril became famous for his action at the Council of Ephesus. He tried to make the heretic Nestorius understand that Christ was truly God and man united as one person. He defended the teaching that Mary is the Mother of God and insisted on calling her Theotokos, a Greek name meaning “God-bearer” or “Mother of God.” Cyril died in 444. Because of his struggle with heretics and his forceful writing about doctrine, Cyril was later named a Doctor of the Church.


Teach the students to meditate on a Gospel story.

  1. See: Visualize the persons, place, setting. (circumstances: who, what, where, why and how)

  2. Catch: Look for the message that is conveyed.

  3. Apply: Apply the message to your own life.

Have the students work in groups to create acrostics of Mary’s titles, using the words Theotokos or Mother of God.

Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio

Image credit: Icon of St. Cyril of Alexandria by unknown artist, unknown date. Public Domain via Wikimedia.