St. Cyprian of Carthage
Cyprian was a bishop of Carthage and considered the pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine. His original name was Thascius; he took the additional name Caecilius in memory of the priest to whom he owed his conversion. Early in 250, the persecution under Roman Emperor Decian began. The persecution was especially severe at Carthage, according to Church sources. Many Christians fell away, and were thereafter referred to as “Lapsi” (the fallen). Cyprian demanded that the lapsi undergo public penance before being re-admitted to the Church. A rigorist party in Rome, who refused readmission to communion to any of the lapsed, elected Novatian as bishop of Rome, in opposition to Pope Cornelius. The Church of Rome declared the “Novatianism” heretical following the letters of Saint Cyprian of Carthage. At the end of 256 a new persecution of the Christians broke out under Emperor Valerian, and Pope Sixtus II was executed in Rome and Cyprian was martyred shortly afterwards.
Quotes from Cyprian of Carthage:
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“In Genesis [it says], ‘And God tested Abraham and said to him, “Take your only son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the high land and offer him there as a burnt offering”’ [Gen. 22:1–2]. . . . Of this same thing in the Wisdom of Solomon [it says], ‘Although in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality’ [Wis. 3:4]. Of this same thing in the Maccabees [it says], ‘Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness’ [1 Macc. 2:52; see Jas. 2:21–23]” (Treatises 7:3:15 [A.D. 248]).