St. Cyril of Alexandria 444 AD
“St. Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, fought with his pen and his eloquence against the Nestorians. He presided in the name of Pope Celestine at the great Council of Ephesus, where the heresy of Nestorius was condemned, and he successfully defended the truth concerning the Mother of God and our Savior in His twofold nature of God and Man. He died in 444.” (1962 Roman Missal)
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the heroic virtue of Saint Cyril of Alexandria from the fifth century. He was a bishop at the Council of Ephesus that proclaimed dogmatically that Mary was indeed the mother of God. This was done not to exalt the blessed mother, but to further promote the correct nature of who Jesus is, both God and man joined together in the hypostatic union. Not only did his persuasive arguments at the Council of Ephesus lead to the death knell for the Nestorian heresy, but he was also a staunch defender of the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist.
Below we see a letter approved by the Council of Ephesus that proves that the early Church taught that communion was indeed a sacrifice and was the very flesh of Jesus. There is no possibility that the Church taught a symbolic view of the Eucharist from these statements as Protestant Early Church Theologian JD Kelly attests.
Letter to Nestorius approved by Council referencing the True Presence:
"Proclaiming the death according to the flesh of the only begotten Son of GOD, that is JESUS CHRIST, and confessing His resurrection from the dead and ascent into Heaven, we celebrate the bloodless sacrifice in our churches; and thus approach the mystic blessings, and are sanctified by partaking of the holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all. And we receive it, not as common flesh (GOD forbid), nor as the flesh of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of merit, or as having a divine indwelling, but as really the life-giving and very flesh of the Word Himself."
Letter to Calosyrius, Bishop of Arsinoë, referencing the True Presence:
"I hear that they say that the sacramental consecration does not avail for hallowing if a portion of it be kept to another day. In saying so they are crazy. For Christ is not altered, nor will His holy body be changed; but by the power of the consecration the life-giving grace still remain in it."