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Cyprian the Hieromartyr & Bishop of Carthage

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August 31

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Saint Cyprian was born of pagan parents in Carthage of Roman Africa about the year 190. An eloquent teacher of rhetoric, he was converted and baptized late in life, and his conversion from a proud man of learning to a humble servant of Christ was complete; he sold his great possessions and gave them to the poor, and because of his zeal and virtue, was ordained presbyter in 247, then Bishop of Carthage in 248. He was especially steadfast in defending the sanctity and uniqueness of the Baptism of the Church of Christ against the confusion of those who would allow some validity to the ministrations of heretics; his writings continue to guide the Church even in our own day. Having survived the persecution of Decius about the year 250, he was beheaded in confession of the Faith during the persecution of Valerian in 258, on September 14; that day being the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, his feast is kept today.

Apolytikion of Cyprian of Carthage in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Guide of Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and holiness, luminary of Carthage, God-inspired adornment of confessors, O wise Cyprian, by thy teachings thou has enlightened all, O harp of the Spirit. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion of Cyprian of Carthage in the First Tone

We honour thee, O Cyprian, as a true shepherd * who with thy sacred words and divinely-wise doctrines * hast shown us the bound'ry-stones marking out the one Church of Christ. * Even unto death didst thou bear witness with courage; * wherefore, we extol thee as a hierarch and Martyr. * Entreat that we all be saved.