Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cyprian (200-258), a noted Bishop of Carthage and martyr. He was of a patrician family and was wealthy. For some time he taught rhetoric at Carthage, and delighted to engage in controversy with the Christians. But Coecilius, whose name he took, baptised him in 245, and he gave his wealth to the poor. He was made bishop, and ruled wisely and well. In 250, during the Decian persecution, he had to retire from Carthage. After this persecution he took a great part in the controversy as to the treatment of the Lapsi - those who had denied their faith during the persecution and now desired to be reconciled to the Church, and he was an advocate for leniency towards them. In the persecution under Valerian he was banished, and being afterwards made prisoner he was commanded to sacrifice, and on his refusal to do so was beheaded. Many interesting letters of his are extant, and among them are letters to Cornelius and Stephen - Bishops of Rome - whom he styles "colleagues." Some of his letters show that he had strong poetical feeling, and that he was keenly alive to scenery and the beauties of nature.