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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume V: May. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

May 29

St. Cyril, Martyr

THIS saint was as yet a child when he glorified God by martyrdom at Cæsarea in Cappadocia. His father, being an idolater, seeing his young son, who had been privately made a Christian, refuse to adore his idols, after all manner of severe usage, turned him out of doors. The governor of Cæsarea being informed of it, gave orders that Cyril should be brought before him. Enraged to hear him never cease to proclaim the name of Jesus, he told him with many caresses, that he ought to detest that name, and promised him the pardon of his faults, a reconciliation with his father, and the inheritance of his estate, if he obeyed. The courageous child answered, “I rejoice in suffering reproaches for what I have done. God will receive me, with whom I shall be better than with my father. I cheerfully renounce earthly estates and house, that I may be made rich in heaven. I am not afraid of death, because it will procure me a better life.” This he said with a courage which showed that God spoke in him. The judge commanded him to be publicly bound, and to be led as if it had been to execution, but he gave orders in private that they should only frighten him. Being placed before a great fire, and threatened to be thrown into it, yet he was not daunted. He was then carried back to the judge, who said to him, “My child, you have seen both the fire and the sword. Be wise, and return to your house and fortune.” The martyr answered, “You have done me a real prejudice in calling me back. I neither fear the fire nor the sword; God will receive me. Put me to death without delay, that I may the sooner go to him.” All the assistants wept to hear him speak in this manner. But he said to them, “You ought rather to rejoice; you know not what is my hope, nor what kind of kingdom I am going to possess.” With these sentiments he went joyfully to his death. He seems to have died by the sword. His name occurs in the Martyrology which bears the name of St. Jerom, and in that of Florus. He suffered under Decius or Valerian. See his authentic acts in Ruinart and Henschenius, probably compiled by St. Firmilian, bishop of Cæsarea.  1