Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Theotokos and St Cyril, Pray for us

I got this information from the website for St Cyril of Alexandria Catholic Church down Houston, Texas way. Not only is the information interesting, the painting sounds quite cool also.

Way to go, parish! Happy patronal feast day!

The patron saint of St. Cyril of Alexandria parish lived from 376 to 441 A.D. in the city of Alexandria in Egypt. He became the patriarch of that city in the year 412. He was declared a doctor of the church in the year 1882 by Pope Leo XIII. St. Cyril is best known for his eloquent defense of the title, "Theotokos" (God-Bearer) for the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Council of Ephesus, held in the Basilica of St. Mary, formally defined that "Theotokos" was an appropriate title for Mary.

In the year 1964, Mr. Gregory Walsh, then a member of the parish, was commissioned by Fr. E.T. Quinters to do a painting of St. Cyril. The painting (See photo in gallery called St. Cyril) captures our patron saint in one of his more representative actions. It depicts him expounding reasons why the title, "Theotokos" is a theologically sound one for the Virgin.

(I attempted to download the picture of St Cyril from the website without success.... it only showed up as a little box with a red x inside.... I'll keep trying. In the meantime I substituted a really cool icon of Cyril)

In the words of the artist: "He is depicted acting impulsively, for that was his nature. The light of the Holy Spirit descends upon him, and illuminates the Basilica. The patriarch of Alexandria has swirled around and dramatically points heavenward as he implores the assembled bishops to accept the dogma. His notes fall to the floor, and his Gospel Codex perches perilously close to the edge of the altar."
The patron and intercessor of St. Cyril of Alexandria parish gives to the people of this community a rich heritage and a model of vigorous faith. His great devotion to the Eucharist and to Mary, Mother of God, is an inspiration to the parish named after him. The painting hangs in the Narthex of the church, just outside the Sacristy ."

Here is a prayer to the Theotokos from Cyril:

Hail Mary, Mother of God,
Crowned Treasure of all the Universe,
Star without Decline,
Crown of Virginity,
Sceptre of the True Faith,
Indestructible Temple,
Dwelling of the Incommensurable,
Mother and Virgin.

We salute you because you are called Blessed in the Holy Gospel
and you come in the name of the Lord.
We salute you, Mother of God,
because you contained in your virginal womb
what Heaven could not contain.

Through you, in whom Heaven rejoices,
the Holy Trinity is glorified and worshipped in every land.


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