HAIL, MOTHER AND VIRGIN


-Saint Cyril of Alexandria 376 AD - 444 AD

Hail, Mother and Virgin, 
Eternal Temple of the Godhead, 
Venerable Treasure of Creation, 
crown of virginity, 
support of the true faith, 
on which the Church is founded throughout the world.

Mother of God, 
who contained the infinite God 
under your heart, 
whom no space can contain: 
through you the most Holy Trinity is revealed, 
adored, and glorified, 
demons are vanquished, 
Satan cast down from heaven into hell 
and our fallen nature again assumed into heaven.

Through you the human race, 
held captive in the bonds of idolatry, 
arrives at the knowledge of Truth. 
What more shall I say of you? Hail, 
through whom kings rule, 
through whom the Only-Begotten Son of God 
has become the Star of Light 
to those sitting in darkness 
and in the shadow of death. 

Amen. 

* Cyril of Alexandria (Greek: Κύριλλος Ἀλεξανδρείας; c. 376 – 444) was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. He was enthroned when the city was at the height of its influence and power within the Roman Empire. Cyril wrote extensively and was a leading protagonist in the Christological controversies of the late-4th and 5th centuries. He was a central figure in the Council of Ephesus in 431, which led to the deposition of Nestorius as Patriarch of Constantinople.

Cyril is counted among the Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, and his reputation within the Christian world has resulted in his titles Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers, but Theodosius II, the Roman Emperor, condemned him for behaving like a "proud pharaoh", and the Nestorian bishops at the Council of Ephesus declared him a heretic, labelling him as a "monster, born and educated for the destruction of the church."[1]

Cyril is well-known due to his dispute with Nestorius and his supporter Patriarch John of Antioch, whom Cyril excluded from the Council of Ephesus for arriving late. He is also known for his expulsion of Novatians and Jews from Alexandria and for inflaming tensions that led to the murder of the Hellenistic philosopher Hypatia by a Christian mob. Historians disagree over the extent of his responsibility in this.

The Roman Catholic Church did not commemorate Saint Cyril in the Tridentine Calendar: it added his feast only in 1882, assigning to it the date of 9 February. The 1969 revision moved it to 27 June, considered to be the day of the saint's death, as celebrated by the Coptic Orthodox Church.[2] The same date has been chosen for the Lutheran calendar. The Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches celebrate his feast day on 9 June and also, together with Pope Athanasius I of Alexandria, on 18 January.

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