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St. Cyprian. Who was Cyprian of Carthage?

There is no information about St. Cyprian’s youthful years, nor about the schools he attended but considering his reputation at the age of 35 when he converted to Christianity, we deduce that St. Cyprian acquired a vast and deep secular culture.

St. Cyprian was the bishop of Carthage, was born around 210 in Carthage, into a wealthy pagan noble family, and was named Caecilius Cyprianus, also nicknamed Thascius. We have no information about his youthful years, nor about the schools he attended but considering his reputation at the age of 35 when he converted to Christianity, we deduce that he acquired a vast and profound secular culture.

His conversion to Christianity in 245 was prepared for a long time by the priest Caecilianus, whom St Cyprian revered and loved as a father. The conversion brought about a radical change in St Cyprian’s outlook on life, a change he is astonished by. He was endowed with two great virtues: chastity and love.

Who was Cyprian of Carthage?

In 256, with the outbreak of Valerian’s persecution, St. Cyprian was exiled to Curubis in August. In 257 he was summoned from exile by Galerius Maximus and after some unsuccessful attempts to draw him to paganism, he was sentenced to death and executed on 14 September 258. He was executed by the sword in Ager Sexti, near Carthage.

Saint Cyprian of Carthage was the father of Christian ecclesiology. His full name is Cecilius Ciprianus Tascius. He was born in about 210 into a wealthy family in Proconsular Asia, most likely in Carthage. Not having had to earn his living by the sweat of his brow or the use of arms, he devoted himself to study, becoming a refined orator and perhaps even a lawyer; at the same time, he did not deny himself the pleasures of life according to the customs of men of his rank.

Coming into contact with Christianity, he admired its doctrine, which he could not but acknowledge to be true, and the exemplary life of its members, but he did not feel able to embrace so engaging a path. He justified himself by saying: “How is a radical transformation possible? How do I remove everything that grew with me and over time became second nature to me?”

Biography of Cyprian of Carthage

Full name:Cecilius Ciprianus Tascius
Date of birth:0200 AD
Year of death:14 September 0258 AD
The thread of life:58 years
Place of birth:Carthage, North Africa
Father's name:Unknown- but he was pagan.
Mother's name:Pagan mother.
Spouse:He was never married
Children:0.
Physical appearance:slender, tall and brown-eyed
Nationality:African
Summary of life: Cyprian was certainly a lay convert when he became bishop of Carthage in early 249. He refused the episcopate, but was coerced by the people. A small number opposed his election, including five priests who became his enemies. He confesses that he was rightly elected, after divine judgment, the vote of the people and the consent of the bishops.
Life lessons:By what he did, he sacrificed himself drastically. The conversion to Christianity in 245 was prepared for a long time by the priest Caecilianus, whom Saint Cyprian respected and loved as a father. The conversion brought about a radical change in St Cyprian's outlook on life, a change he himself is astonished by. He was endowed with two great virtues: chastity and love.
Life accomplishments:He was a great bishop, writer and martyr of the Christian faith in the church of Carthage.
Death cause:Martyrdom.

Biblical places from the times of Cyprian of Carthage

  1. Carthage
  2. The Roman Republic
  3. The Seleucid Empire

St. Cyprian

What was Cyprian known for?

As bishop, he was concerned with discipline in the Church with great emphasis on obedience. St Cyprian, with the Church of Rome and the African Bishops, reprieved the apostates, but gradually, after a time of penance, except for the sick, when dying. St Cyprian made a special contribution to the social sphere, with the outbreak of the plague between 252-254 and a new wave of persecution, resulting in numerous acts of Christian charity and charity.

Saint Cyprian of Carthage was known for his outstanding contribution to the social realm, with the outbreak of the plague between 252-254 and a new wave of persecution, involving himself in numerous acts of Christian mercy and intercession. In 256 the persecution of Valerian broke out and St Cyprian was exiled to Curubis in August.

In 250 during the persecution of Emperor Decius the number of Christians in Africa who apostatized increased. Therefore, to quell the unrest in the Church, St Cyprian withdrew to a hidden place. After about 15 months of absence, St Cyprian had much to do with those who had apostatized from Christianity and introduced penance as a general rule for their reintegration.

What did Cyprian teach?

Cyprian was a writer just like Origen and his first Christian writing is Ad Donatum, a monologue addressed to a friend, standing under the canopy of a vine. The only refuge is the Christian’s life of peace, study, and prayer.

Through his influence and works, Cyprian teaches people the true dogma and faith of Christianity. Even another early work states the affirmation of his Christian writings. It was Testament to Quirinum, written in two volumes. It contains passages of Holy Scripture arranged in sub-chapters to illustrate the passing of the Old Law and its fulfillment in Christ.

In his other works, Cyprian addresses himself to a Christian audience; his rapture is relished by his audience, his style becoming simpler, though powerful and sometimes poetic, not to say grandiloquent. It contains passages from Holy Scripture arranged in sub-chapters to illustrate the passage of the Old Law and its fulfillment in Christ. On the whole, the beauty of the style has rarely been equaled by the Latin Fathers and never surpassed except by the matchless energy and wisdom of Blessed Jerome.

Why didn’t Novatus like Cyprian?

The discovery of a God who is Father and the new relationship of love he experienced towards him, which he later expressed admirably in the Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer, made him exclaim: “I have received a new spirit from heaven; the second birth (Baptism) has made me a new man; what before seemed doubtful has now acquired consistency, what was closed has been opened, the darkness has been lightened, what before was difficult has become easier.”

Cyprian did not please the priest Novatus and four others because they could not understand why the people preferred a man who had embraced the faith only three years after a life lived in the vices of paganism, simply because he was educated and in good health, leaving aside one of them who had always lived in the faith and had even passed the test of persecution. Novatus and his group began to make life difficult for the bishop, seeking every way, even the most dishonest, to depose him.

His conversion caused a sensation in Carthage and was a real triumph for Christians. Bishop Donatus very soon saw to it that he joined the college of presbyters, and a year later, in 259, when he died, St. Cyprian was acclaimed as his successor.

Key Verse related to Cyprian of Carthage

“There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one Chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere is scattering.”

What did Cyprian of Carthage do?

Saint Cyprian is known as a great defender against charms, spells, and curses, but he is also known for his healing of those who sought his help.

St Cyprian performed miracles for a young boy who had been left soulless by his step-grandmother. The woman was a witch and wanted to rid herself of her problems.

St. Cyprian, with the Church of Rome and the African Bishops, reprieved the apostates, but gradually, after a time of penance, except for the sick and dying. St Cyprian made a special contribution to the social sphere, with the outbreak of the plague between 252-254 and a new wave of persecution, resulting in numerous acts of Christian charity and charity.

In what year did Cyprian convene the council?

We have the Holy Fathers and Martyrs as models in the history of the Church. Saint Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage between 248 and 258, is a model in his words and deeds for the attitude of Christians in times of epidemic.

According to historical accounts, in 0251 Cyprian convened a council in Carthage where he wrote about the unity of the Christian church and the need for full church discipline.

By the middle of the 3rd century, Christianity was spreading throughout the Roman Empire, although persecution by the authorities often turned bloody. An edict of Emperor Decius in January 250 required adherence to the Roman religion through sacrifices to official deities. The terror of persecution had not yet passed, for a contagious disease, the plague, had spread throughout the empire, causing many to die a cruel death.

What are 3 of Cyprian’s remarkable writings?

Three of his writings, which have come down to us, are edifying for Christian dignity in a time of trial for society. 

The three great writings of Cyprian of Carthage are the following:

  1. “Of Mortality”, also known as the writing “on the plague”, indicates the symptoms and mode of manifestation of the disease
  2. “On the mortal condition of man”
  3. “On the Unity of the Universal Church”

St Cyprian writes about the sufferings caused by contagious disease, but he insists above all on the Christian attitude in times of trial, illness, and epidemic.

When was St. Cyprian exiled?

Cyprian managed to stir up the winds and rains, to hurt people who believed in Christ. Some believers were killed with poisons and charms, but the magician also brought children for the devils to stab.

In 256, with the outbreak of Valerian’s persecution, St Cyprian was exiled to Curubis in August. In 257 he was summoned from exile by Galerius Maximus and after some unsuccessful attempts to draw him to paganism, he was sentenced to death and executed on 14 September 258. He was executed by the sword in Ager Sexti, near Carthage.

His life changed in a surprising way when he tried, unsuccessfully, to prove the power of his spells on the young Christian maiden Justina.

Prayer of St. Cyprian the Martyr, for deliverance from spells, curses, and all evil work

‘Thou, who dwellest in the light unsearchable and unapproachable, for the prayer of me,

Thy humble and unworthy servant, drive away demons and extinguish their cunning from Thy servants;

pour down rain in good season upon all the earth and make it yield its fruit; let trees and vineyards yield their full fruit;

And loosen Thy servant (name), together with all of his household, from all the bonds of Satan, magic, enchantments, and adverse powers.

Thou, the O Lord God of our fathers, prevent all the work of Satan,

Thou who givest deliverance from magic, from charms, from spells,

and from all satanic works, and all his bonds, and destroy all the work of wickedness by the remembrance of thy most holy name,

of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

AMEN.

How did Saint Cyprian die?

An immoral young man, England, asked the sorcerer Cyprian to help him and win the love of young Iustina. The magician Cyprian tried the greatest spells. All his attempts were in vain. Surprisingly, the demons had no power over Iustina and took their revenge on Ciprian himself.

According to historical accounts, Cyprian the saint died by being beheaded. Bishop Cyprian and the faithful Justine did not want to worship idols and did not renounce the Christian faith. After this firm refusal, Cyprian and Justina were tortured and eventually beheaded.

During the Christian persecution unleashed by the Roman Emperor Decius, both Bishop Cyprian and the faithful Justina fell victim. 

Which phrase is attributed to Cyprian of Carthage?

Saint Cyprian of Carthage is one of the most prominent confessors of the Church in North Africa in the early centuries of Christianity. He is distinguished from St Cyprian of Antioch Syria who was formerly a sorcerer and whose memorial is celebrated on 2 October.

The most consecrated phrase attributed to Cyprian of Carthage is: “He who has not the mother church cannot have God as his father.”

After his writings, in 257 he is summoned from exile by Galerius Maximus and after some unsuccessful attempts to attract him to paganism, he is sentenced to death and executed on 14 September 258.

Primary Takeaways

  • The Bishop of Carthage addresses his shepherds and also encourages them to show the fruits of their faith in times of trial. So baptized in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, passed from death to life in the risen Christ, the Christian does not fear death.
  • Saint Cyprian courageously proposes to the one to whom he addresses himself to convert and also choose the way of life in Christ: So come out of the heavy darkness of superstition and open your eyes to the shining light of our holy religion.
  • Cyprian was endowed with two great virtues: chastity and love.

Conclusion

Saint Cyprian of Carthage was one of the outstanding personalities of the Christian Church in the first half of the 3rd century. He came from a noble and wealthy family, his father being a senator of the most important city in Roman Africa. He received a distinguished education, studying. Among other things, rhetoric (and later teaching it), because his father’s wishes and the custom of the time destined him for a public career.

St Cyprian, in agreement with the Church of Rome and the African bishops, reprieved the apostates, but gradually, after a time of penance, except for the terminally ill. He had to take harsh measures against his opponents in the episcopate, who were predicting a split in the Church. By excommunicating them. In this, he also had the agreement of the African bishops convened at the Synod of Carthage in 251. 

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Quizlet related to Saint Cyprian of Carthage

Cyprian of Carthage

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Who was Cyprian?

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Where was Cyprian from?

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He was born in ___ AD.

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When did he die?

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Which one of the following was his real name?

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Cyprian was also a ______.

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Cyprian was raised in a _____ lifestyle.

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Bibliography

  • Bakker, H. (2010). Cyprian of Carthage: studies his life, language, and thought. Peeters.
  • Burns, J. P. (2009). Cyprian of Carthage. The Expository Times120(10), 469-477.
  • Brent, A. (2010). Cyprian and Roman Carthage. Cambridge University Press.
  • Clarke, G. W. (Ed.). (1984). The Letters of St. Cyprian of Carthage (No. 33-44). Paulist Press.
  • Fitzgerald, P. J. (1998). A Model for Dialogue: Cyprian of Carthage on ecclesial discernment. Theological Studies59(2), 236-253.