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December 2, 2017

Saint Cyril of Philea (+ 1110)


You exceeded the dyad of matter all-blessed one,
(namely the appetitive and spirited)
And now stand in the court of the Trinity.

He was born in 1015 in Philea (or Phyrgia), in the vicinity of Derkos in Thrace, and baptized with the name Kyriakos. At an early age he was distinguished for his learning of sacred letters.

At the age of twenty he was married and had a child. Because he had zeal for the monastic life however, he decided to abandon his wife and child and enter a monastery, saying to his wife: "Either we separate or each go to a monastery." His wife would not concede to either of these, therefore he stayed home and lived as an ascetic in his home. He was noted as an almsgiver as well, and became known as Kyriakos the Almsgiver.

In 1060 he founded a monastery in his village, where Emperor Alexios Komnenos had a church erected. When he became a monastic he took the name Cyril. There were some in the imperial family that had Saint Cyril as their spiritual father. He is noted in his life for receiving divine revelations in visions and dreams.

We are told that he attempted to learn the entire Psalter by heart, but when he had only learned half of it he decided to give the book to a poor man, but he soon regretted it. One night he attempted to chant the Psalter, but not remembering more than he managed to memorize, he fell asleep. In his sleep he saw a man dressed in white telling him to get up and chant the Psalter. When Cyril told him that he could not remember the whole thing, the man told him that they would do it together, and they did, not once but twice, and he disappeared.

He reposed in peace in the year 1110. His life was written by his disciple, Saint Nicholas Kataskepenos. Eleven years after the repose of Saint Cyril, his disciple Nicholas opened his tomb and found his head incorrupt and giving off a fragrance of sanctity. His sacred head became the source of many miracles.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
As a foreigner and sojourner, of earthly delights, you lived a life equal to the angels, and conducted yourself well, our Father Cyril, wherefore the heavens, you grasped in exchange; intercede God-bearer, to the Savior of all, to grant us who honor you, grace and mercy.