ST. CYRIL suffered while still a boy at Cæsarea in Cappadocia, during the persecutions of the third century. He used to repeat the name of Christ at all times, and confessed that the mere utterance of this name moved him strangely. He was beaten and reviled by his heathen father. But he bore all this with joy, increasing in the strength of Christ, Who dwelt within him, and drawing many of his own age to the imitation of his heavenly life. When his father in his fury turned him out of doors, he said he had lost little, and would receive a great recompense instead.
Soon after, he was brought before the magistrate on account of his faith. No threats could make him show a sign of fear, and the judge, pitying perhaps his tender years, offered him his freedom, assured him of his father’s forgiveness, and besought him to return to his home and inheritance. But the blessed youth replied, “I left my home gladly, for I have a greater and a better which is waiting for me.” He was filled with the same heavenly desires to the end. He was taken to the fires as if for execution, and was then brought back and re-examined, but he only protested against the cruel delay. Led out to die, he hurried on the executioners, gazed unmoved at the flames which were kindled for him, and expired, hastening, as he said, to his home.
Reflection.—Ask Our Lord to make all earthly joy insipid, and to fill you with the constant desire of heaven. This desire will make labor easy and suffering light. It will make you fervent and detached, and bring you even here a foretaste of that eternal joy and peace to which you are hastening.