Disciple of Tertullian
Born: 200 A.D., Carthage
Died: 258 A.D., Carthage
Thascius Caecilianus Cyprianus also known as St Cyprian was a prominent leader of the Western Christianity. He was born in Roman Africa to a high-grade pagan family and became converted to Christianity in 246 A.D.; within 3 years he became Bishop of Carthage. During Cyprians Bishopric the Roman imperial government issued its first empire wide persecution, forcing Cyprian to flee, he kept in contact with the Church through letters and messengers, this allowed him to direct and lead the church..
Under the persecution and extreme torture that the church experienced many Christian fell away and offered sacrifice to the pagan gods, this left Cyprian with a huge pastoral problem. There was a group who had complied with the government so far to secure papers to certify that they had performed such sacrifices. Many of these Christians penitently desired to be readmitted back to the communion of the church. Cyprian announced, in opposition to the normal strict discipline of the church, that after clear evidence of penitence those lapsed Christians could be readmitted to the church.
The writings of Cyprian collected in the library of the Early Church consisted of:
“Epistles of Cyprian”– Containing a collection of 81 letters, explaining the doctrine of the church. The assortment was written between 251 A.D. and 258 A.D.
“The Treatise of Cyprian” – Which has 12 Treatise’s
“The 7th Council of Carthage” – Concerning the baptism of heretics
Attributed Treatise – Written in 3 parts
St. Cyprian also known as Caecilius, a name he took in honor of the man he was converted by, was considered the first bishop to receive the crown of martyrdom in Africa. With the rise of a fresh persecution under Emperor Valarian, Cyprian was sentenced to decapitation. It is said that Cyprian took off his cloak, and knelt down and prayed before being executed, he took off his dalmatic and gave it to his deacons, and stood in his linen tunic in silence awaiting the executioner.
A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography by Wace & Piercy