St. Cyril’s life of some 70 years, placed in the very center of the fourth century, epitomizes much that was characteristic of both Jerusalem and the century. Bishop of Jerusalem for nearly 40 years, he experienced three expulsions from his see, these due as much to politico-ecclesiastical rivalry as to his participation in the contemporary theological controversies, in which Cyril played an important and still disputed role. This volume contains Cyril’s 23 Catechetical Lectures. They are written in an informal tone in contrast to the rigid and scientific tone similar lectures often took. They resonate with pastoral love and warmth and are filled with scripture. Cyril’s lectures are an excellent model of early Christian instruction and liturgy.
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Cyril of Jerusalem (313–386) Little is known of the circumstances of St. Cyril’s birth. He was ordained a deacon in 335 and a priest eight years later by St. Maximus. He succeeded Maximus as bishop of Jerusalem in 350. During his tenure as bishop he was expelled from his see three times. He died in 386 after holding the position for nearly 40 years. He was elevated to Doctor of the Church in 1883.