Cyriacus of Antioch

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Latest revision as of 08:44, October 24, 2012

Coptic Orthodox Cross
Note: This article or section represents an Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.

St. Cyriacus of Antioch, also known as Mor Kyriakos of Antioch, is a father of the Syriac Orthodox Church who served as Patriarch of Antioch and All the East in the late 8th and early 9th centuries. Our Holy Father Cyriacus of Antioch is commemorated by the Syriac Orthodox Church on August 16.

Life

St. Cyriacus was born and raised in the Mesopotamian city of Tikrit, known today for also being the hometown of Saladdin. Het received his educational and spiritual formation at the Monastery of the Pillar near al-Raqqa, where he also became a monk. As a monk, St. Cyriacus became widely known for his virtuous and pious life and for his knowledge and understanding of the teachings of the Church.

In 793, the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church elected Cyriacus Patriarch of Antioch. During his patriarchate he held five councils of the Church, issuing canons for the improvement of the Church and seeking to reconcile a sect of the Monophysite Julianist heresy to Orthodoxy, although his attempt to do so was blocked by his brother hierarchs.

Despite his holiness and faithfulness to Orthodoxy, Cyriacus was resented by some of the clergy and laity for his strictness in enforcing the canons of the Church and suffered because of their malice. He nevertheless served as Patriarch of Antioch for 24 years. In that time he consecrated 86 hierarchs to serve the Church in Syria, Mesopotamia, and the East.

St. Cyriacus fell asleep in Nineveh (modern day Mosul) on August 16, 817 and was buried in his hometown of Tikrit.

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