CYPRIAN (Saint) Bishop, Martyr (September 14) (3rd century) Thascius Caecilius Cyprian, a cultured and wealthy Carthaginian, after teaching with distinction Philosophy and Rhetoric, was converted to Christianity (it is believed comparatively late in life). He was soon raised to the priesthood and a year after was consecrated Bishop of Carthage (A.D. 248). Cheerful and courteous to every one, his charity and piety speedily won all hearts. But it was by his writings, of which even the literary merit is very great, that he has chiefly served the Church. He was linked in bonds of cordial sympathy and friendship with the Martyr-Pope, Saint Cornelius, and in his own books bears explicit and striking witness to the necessary Oneness of the Church founded on the Rock of Peter. His conviction appears the more from his boldness and insistency in maintaining his own erroneous views on the validity of Baptism conferred by heretics, to which he sought in vain to draw Pope Saint Stephen. His treatise on Lapsed or Fallen Christians is a noble summary of the merciful doctrine of Rome in regard to sinners. Saint Cyprian by a prudent retreat escaped the persecution of Christians under Decius (A.D. 250). He won his crown under Valerian (A.D. 258), when he was beheaded in presence of his sorrowing flock. For a vivid description of the Martyrdom of Saint Cyprian, see his Life by his disciple Pontius. With him in his triumph were associated Saints Crescentianus, Victor, Generalis, Rosula, and other Christians of Carthage.