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Saint Cyprian. Bishop and Martyr of Carthage

Saint Cyprian was born a pagan, but later Cyprian’s spells remained unchanged over time, for he banished them with prayer, fasting, and the sign of the holy cross. Following these vain efforts, Cyprian knew the deception he was in and was baptized. He was ordained a priest and later a bishop in Carthage. Cyprian died as a martyr on October 2, 304, along with Saint Justine.

Saint Cyprian lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. Saint Cyprian was a sorcerer, philosopher, and servant of the pagan god Apollo of Antioch in Syria. It is known, however, that Saint Cyprian was, at the end of his life, bishop and martyr of Carthage. Saint Cyprian leaped from witchcraft and became a bishop. From the account of his life, we learn that a young pagan, England, fell in love with Justina and, wishing to take her as his wife, asked the help of the sorcerer, Cyprian because the maiden rejected him.

Cyprian successively sent devils to Iustina to kindle in her the lust for England. The judge, not having received the words in his heart and unable to respond to Cyprian’s words, ordered the saint to be hanged and his body to be twisted.

Who is St. Cyprian?

Saint Cyprian is one of the saints the Orthodox Church commemorates in October. Specifically, St Cyprian is celebrated yearly on a fixed date, 2 October, just one day after the feast dedicated to the Blessed Mary. Saint Cyprian died as a martyr, along with Saint Justine, and how this happened on October 2. Thus, the faithful remember St Cyprian and praise him yearly, placing him in all their prayers.

Saint Cyprian is said to have lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian between 0284 AD and 0305 AD. He was initially a sorcerer, philosopher, and servant of the pagan god Apollo of Antioch in Syria. Although he did not choose the path of faith at first, Saint Cyprian eventually turned his face to God, thus renouncing practices that were against Christianity.

Before turning to Christianity, St Cyprian cast charms and offered his help to those who wanted to obtain certain things. Hearing that he was a great sorcerer, a young pagan named Aglaid asked St Cyprian for help. The young man was in love with Justina and wanted her to become his wife, but because she rejected him, Aglaid turned to sorcery to make Justina his own.

Biography of Saint Cyprian

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Biblical places from the times of Cyprian

  1. Ancient Carthage- Did Cyprian live in Carthage?
  2. Tunisia- Is Ancient Tunisia the nowadays one?

What did St Cyprian teach?

Cyprian was born into a pagan family and, from birth, was worshipped by the god Apollo. He was a perfect connoisseur and practitioner of pagan religions. Initiated into the mystery religions of Mithras and Demeter from childhood, he learned over time the mysteries and power of the substances of nature. He learned divination in Phrygia and studied magic in Egypt and Chaldea. Returning to Antioch, he surrounded himself with the fame of a compelling philosopher and sorcerer.

Saint Cyprian teaches witchcraft and occult rituals. Although God commands in Deuteronomy that there should be no one among the Jews to use divination or fortune-telling games or to investigate the sounds or flights of birds, nor to pass his children over the fire, thinking thereby to purify them by fire, or to do other such things: Let not them be found with thee that pass their son or daughter through the fire, neither soothsayer, nor soothsayer, nor sorcerer, nor enchanter, nor sorcerer of spirits, nor summoner of souls, nor magician, nor those that pray with the dead.

A young scholar from Antioch named England, falling in love with the young Iustina and being rejected by her, sought the services of the sorcerer Cyprian. Using all his knowledge, he could not persuade Justina to yield to England. The maiden escaped from all the trials by using her faith in Christ and the power of the sign of the Holy Cross.

Key Verse related to Saint Cyprian of Carthage

“It is a bad world, Donatus, an evil world. But I have discovered amid it a quiet and good people who have learned the great secret of life. They have found joy and wisdom, which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. Also, they are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians. . . and I am one of them.”


saint cyprian

Cyprian meaning in Bible

He was born around 0210 AD in the province of Cartagena. And later, it is known that he came from a noble but pagan family, receiving at birth the name Caecilius Ciprianus, also known as Thascius. About years of his youth, we do not know many details nor the education he received. Still, considering the reputation he enjoyed when he was 35 years old when he converted to Christianity, we can say that he knew a vast and deep culture.

Cyprianus, used as a surname in ancient Rome, means “peace of the Father” in the Bible. The name is a derivative of the name of the island of Cyprus with the suffix “-an,” and its meaning is “from Cyprus.” It seems that among the most famous bearers of the name was our Saint Cyprian, a former bishop of Carthage who became a martyr in the time of Emperor Valerian in the 3rd century. Bearers of the name “Cyprian” are resourceful, dynamic, and quick-thinking. They possess proven energy in all circumstances and like to take risks, disregarding pain.

They are often in a constant hurry, patience not being a solid point, but they are always making plans they can’t wait to implement. 

Martyrdom of St. Cyprian

Not much is known about the date of the Saint’s physical birth and his childhood, or even his martyrdom. It is known that he came from a wealthy pagan family and was born around the year 0210. At the time of his conversion to Christianity, he was probably mature. The year 0245 was the date of his conversion to the Christian faith. His activity after this time, though not lasting more than six years, was highly fruitful for the life of the Church.

Even if he had been a persecutor of Christians in his youth, he felt he would be a martyr of the Christian faith before his death. Cyprian took refuge in a place of safety. His enemies continually criticized him for this retreat, but to remain in Carthage would have meant certain death, causing more danger than there was, depriving the Church of a shepherd. The election of a new bishop in Carthage would have been as impossible as in Rome. He ceded most of his duties to the priest Rogatianus. 

Cyprian encouraged the confessors and wrote eloquent eulogies to the martyrs. Fifteen of them soon died in prison, and one in the mines. By the arrival of the Proconsuls in April, the severity of the persecution had increased. Saint Mappalicus ended gloriously on the 17th. 

Prayer to Saint Cyprianus

St Cyprian’s prayer has power. And this is because it concentrates all the power of sin and redemption in it. Read with faith the prayer of Saint Cyprian. He is a saint who offers deliverance from evil spirits.

“Before you were a teacher of wickedness, and you showed yourself

to be an Archbishop through the Blessed Virgin Justina.

And as a wise shepherd, out of the thorns of deceit thou

didst blossom like a flower. And we, the faithful, you filled us

with the fragrance of your healing and the rays of your miracles.

Strengthen us that we may sing to thee:

Hail, holy Cyprian, everlastingly glorified!”

It is wrong and sinful for anyone to turn to sorcerers for deliverance from the sick or to utter incantations, and still, more to go to sorcerers either to harm someone or to seek redemption. Whoever does so draws upon himself the demonic influence from which he does not easily escape. He who firmly believes in God, who prays and regularly goes to church, will never ask the devils for help, and the spells will have no power over him.

Primary Takeaways

  • Cyprian, who lived in the 3rd century, was a well-known and feared sorcerer and a great scholar of his time who traveled the world to learn as much as possible about the power of the devil, the craft, and the work of sorcery. 
  • At the same time as him, in Antioch, lived the virgin Justina, who, learning about Jesus Christ, began to read and learn about the Christian faith. 
  • The devil, the enemy of man, put into the mind and heart of a young man of passion the thought of asking her to marry him. According to the hagiographers, she had promised herself to the Saviour Christ and wished to spend her life in purity.


The Holy lived in the time of Emperor Diocletian and was a philosopher and a terrible sorcerer from Antioch of Syria, serving the pagan and unclean god Apollo. He was eager to learn from an early age, and his parents were wealthy. He had traveled to all the most famous places in this craft: Athens, Egypt, Chaldea, India, etc. Thus he perfected all the sinful mysteries of magic and star-reading. He acquired great fame among the pagans and slandered the Christians everywhere. 

Reading the Altar of St. Cyprian is also of great use to Christians, including in the fight against those who harm us through spells, charms, or incantations—but not disfellowshipping or exorcisms. These are part of the Church’s ministry. Not anyone does exorcisms because, in general, exorcisms involve prayers that curse the evil one, thus entering into an open battle with the evil one.

Quizlet about Saint Cyprian and the other Saints of God

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Explanation of biblical words

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  • Clarke, G. W. (Ed.). (1984). The Letters of St. Cyprian of Carthage (No. 33-44). Paulist Press.
  • Clarke, G. W. (1965). The Secular Profession of St. Cyprian of Carthage. Latomus24(Fasc. 3), 633-638.
  • Cyprian, S. (1984). The Letters of St. of Carthage (Vol. 1). Paulist Press.
  • Cyprian, S. (1844). The Epistles of S. with the Council of Carthage on the Baptism of Heretics (Vol. 17). JH Parker.
  • Fackler, J. (1963). The Ministry During the Period from Saint Clement of Rome to Saint Cyprian of Carthage.