Who was Saint Cyprian?

   Saint Cyprian was a Bishop of Carthage and martyr. Born Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, at Carthage, in northern Africa, about 200 A.D. Died Carthage, Sept. 14, 258 A.D. Feast day, September 16.
   Cyprian helped to develop orthodox Christianity in the early Church. He was a pagan lawyer, orator, and teacher of rhetoric in Carthage until he was converted to Christianity. As bishop, he supported the return to the Church of repentant Christians who had denied their faith under Roman persecution. He joined Pope Cornelius in opposing Novatian, an antipope who claimed that persons who fell from grace could not be saved.
   In 257 A.D., Cyprian was exiled by the Emperor of Rome and a year later he was brought back and beheaded. When his sentence was read to him, he is said to have replied, "Thanks be to God." St. Cyprian is honored in the daily Mass of the Roman Catholic Church.