Today commemorates also the fourth century Bishop and Doctor of the Church, St Cyril of Jerusalem. Born near that city, he eventually became its Patriarch. After disputes with Arian heretics, he was exiled for seventeen years.

He said: ‘Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow, and on everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we rise up; when we are in the way, and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the sake of the poor; without toil, for the sick; since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of devils: for He “triumphed over them in it, having made a show of them openly”; for when they see the Cross they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, who bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the gift; but for this rather honour your Benefactor’.

May the Cross of Christ be your defence this day, and may St Cyril pray for us all. May God bless you.