Today's Saint (February 9): Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria
One of the Doctors of the Church, Saint Cyril (d. 444) is known for countering the heresy by Nestorius, which claimed that the Incarnate Christ was not fully and simultaneously God and man.
At the Council of Ephesus in 431, Cyril asserted that there could be no atoning of sin if Christ was not man, and that Our Lord must also be God, in order to redeem that which he had become.
By his emphasis of the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God, Cyril was able to preserve Christ's divinity and humanity during his particularly heretical day.
As heresies - distortions of divine truth - flow from a denial of the Incarnation, thereby causing men to assert the one nature of Christ at the expense of the other, we most assuredly thank God for Cyril and others who, in their day, stood up for the Faith, lived and taught the same, and are called "great in the kingdom of heaven." (The day's Gospel, page F 31, People's Anglican Missal)
The accompanying photo is a statue of Saint Cyril, apparently in the midst of defending the faith and beating down the heretic, and is the work of Ignaz Franz Platzer 1717 -1787. the statue is found at the Church of Saint Nicholas in Lesser Town, Prague.
Books Worth Considering
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Treasury of Saints and Martyrs
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference)
The Penguin Dictionary of Saints: Third Edition (Dictionary, Penguin)