Cyril of Jerusalem
Pope Benedict XVI focuses on St. Cyril: a master of Catechesis
Pope Benedict XVI focuses on St. Cyril: a master of Catechesis
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, greeted the thousands of pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI auditorium this morning, continuing his cycle of catechesis on the Church Fathers by commenting on a master of catechisis himself - St. Cyril of Jerusalem.

Cyril, the Pope explained, was consecrated a bishop in 348 by Acacius, metropolitan of Caesarea in Palestine and a supporter of Arianism. However, soon afterwards the two men came into contrast, "not only in the doctrinal field, but also in the area of jurisprudence, because Cyril claimed the autonomy of his see from the metropolitan see of Caesarea." He was exiled thee times and only in 378, following the death of the emperor Valens, could Cyril return to his see, "restoring unity and peace among the faithful." Of this saint we have his "Catecheses," 24 catechetical lectures introduced by a prologue.

Cyril was known for his Catechesis, which, the Holy Father said, “prepared the catechumens of the Church of Jerusalem first to receive the sacraments of Christian initiation, and then, after their Baptism, to understand more deeply the Church’s faith as expressed in the sacred mysteries.”

Cyril's Catechesis treated the topics of the sacraments, especially Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. In parallel manner, Cyril developed alongside these catecheses another on the Our Father, “creating a way of initiation into prayer.”

Benedict highlighted the importance of catechesis for initiation into the faith: “The catecheses were an important moment, inserted into the ample context of the lives, and in particular the liturgy, of the Christian community, in whose maternal womb the future faithful were being gestated, accompanied by prayer and the testimony of the brothers.”

The effect of catechesis was both to teach doctrine and instruct in the moral life; the doctrine “descended progressively into their souls, which were solicitous to transform their pagan forms of behavior into the manner of acting proper to the new life in Christ, the gift of Baptism.”

When the catechumens reached Baptism, Cyril instructed them with his Mystagogical Catechesis, “the apex” of his instruction, the Holy Father noted. “Illuminated by the light of a more profound faith, as a result of Baptism, the neophytes were finally ready to understand them better,” he said

Speaking of the death to sin and the rebirth in God which occurs in Baptism, Cyril told his catechumens: “For you...the time to die coincided with the time to be born: one and the same moment has effected both events.”

Benedict noted the ongoing value of this text: “the Catecheses remain a model for instruction today, leading the whole person – body, soul, and spirit – to a living experience of Christ’s gift of salvation.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27