This fifth century Alexandrian Church Father spent much of his life combatting the heresies circulating at that time. The late Pope Benedict said of him: ‘The Christian faith is first and foremost the encounter with Jesus, “a Person, which gives life a new horizon”. St Cyril of Alexandria was an unflagging, staunch witness of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, emphasizing above all his unity, as he repeats in 433 in his first letter to Bishop Succensus: “Only one is the Son, only one the Lord Jesus Christ, both before the Incarnation and after the Incarnation. Indeed, the Logos born of God the Father was not one Son and the one born of the Blessed Virgin another; but we believe that the very One who was born before the ages was also born according to the flesh and of a woman”. Over and above its doctrinal meaning, this assertion shows that faith in Jesus the Logos born of the Father is firmly rooted in history because, as St Cyril affirms, this same Jesus came in time with his birth from Mary, the Theotokos, and in accordance with his promise will always be with us. And this is important: God is eternal, he is born of a woman, and he stays with us every day. In this trust we live, in this trust we find the way for our life’.

The image below shows the Egyptian desert west of the Nile, which St Cyril would surely have known.

And so, following his teaching, ‘In this trust we live …’ May we indeed do so, and may God bless all your endeavours.