The Pope commanded retraction, under pain of separation from the Church, and intrusted St. Cyril with the conduct of the proceedings. The appointed day, June 7, 431, found Nestorius and Cyril at Ephesus, with over 200 bishops. After waiting twelve days in vain for the Syrian bishops, the council with Cyril tried Nestorius, and deposed him from his see. Upon this the Syrians and Nestorians excommunicated St. Cyril, and complained of him to the emperor as a peace-breaker. Imprisoned and threatened with banishment, the Saint rejoiced to confess Christ by suffering. In time it was recognized that St. Cyril was right, and with him the Church triumphed. Forgetting his wrongs, and careless of controversial punctilio, Cyril then reconciled himself with all who would consent to hold the doctrine of the Incarnation intact. He died in 444.
Reflection.—The Incarnation is the mystery of God’s dwelling within us, and therefore should be the dearest object of our contemplation. It was the passion of St. Cyril’s life; for it he underwent toil and persecution, and willingly sacrificed credit and friends.