Cyprian

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No one can have God for his father, who has not the Church for his mother.

Cyprian (Latin: Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus) (c. 20014 September 258) was bishop of Carthage and an important Early Christian writer, many of whose Latin works are extant. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education. After converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249 and eventually died a martyr at Carthage.

Quotes[edit]

  • Habere non potest Deum patrem qui ecclesiam non habet matrem.
    • No one can have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother.
    • De Ecclesiae Catholicae Unitate (AD 251), ch. vi.
  • Salus extra ecclesiam non est.
    • There is no salvation outside the Church.
    • Letter to Jubaianus (AD 256), Letter 73
  • It is a persistent evil to persecute a man who belongs to the grace of God. It is a calamity without remedy to hate the happy.
    • Treatise on Jealousy and Envy ch. ix

Letters of Cyprian[edit]

  • Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion.
    • Letter 1 Letter to Donatus, viii
  • Hence turn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle. In the theatres also you will behold what may well cause you grief and shame. It is the tragic buskin which relates in verse the crimes of ancient days. The old horrors of parricide and incest are unfolded in action calculated to express the image of the truth, so that, as the ages pass by, any crime that was formerly committed may not be forgotten. Each generation is reminded by what it hears, that whatever has once been done may be done again. Crimes never die out by the lapse of ages; wickedness is never abolished by process of time; impiety is never buried in oblivion. Things which have now ceased to be actual deeds of vice become examples.
    • Epistle 1 to Donatus, Section 8, translated by Robert Ernest Wallis, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5.
  • Think not that you are thus maintaining the Gospel of Christ when you separate yourselves from the flock of Christ.
    • Letter 43 "To the Roman Confessors, that they should return to unity"
  • Humi iacent fessa laboribus viscera, sed poena non est cum Christo iacere. Squalent sine balneis membra situ et sorde deformia, sed spiritaliter intus abluitur quod foris carnaliter sordidatur.
    • The frame wearied with labours lies prostrate on the ground, but it is no penalty to lie down with Christ. Your limbs unbathed, are foul and disfigured with filth and dirt; but within they are spiritually cleansed, although without the flesh is defiled.
      • Letter 76; Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050676.htm>

External links[edit]

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