Cyril of Alexandria was a theologian, bishop, Church Father, and Doctor of the Church. Although his reputation is marked with controversy, Cyril is most remembered for his intelligent writing, his strong condemnation of heresy, and the Nestorian Schism. The dispute between Cyril and Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, over different Christological views was decided in favor of Cyril at the First Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Churches supporting Nestorius’ teachings split from the Orthodox church, forming their own denominations. Cyril’s Commentary on the Gospel of S. John is a powerful demonstration of Cyril’s views on Christ and the person and nature of Christ, and is a major exegetical accomplishment of fifth-century biblical interpretation.
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Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. His uncle, Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412. Cyril was well educated, wrote extensively, and was a leading figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church. The council convened amid disputes over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril led the charges of heresy against Nestorius. Nestorius' teachings were condemned by the council, leading to the formation of separate denominations that broke from the Orthodox church.
Cyril of Alexandria is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Lutheran Church.