St. Cyprian is of my fave Church Fathers!
He converted to Christianity at age 35 and was ordained a bishop a couple of years later.
Here's an Orthodox-Christian icon of him with the source found HERE. I selected an icon created by a Orthodox artist so as to contribute, in my own little way, to full communion between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches.
Ut omnes unum sint!
|First African Martyr|
He wrote a book called On the Unity of the Catholic Church. In it, he said:
1.) "no one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as mother" (De unit., 6).
2.) "if a man deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, does he think that he is in the Church?" (cf. De unit. [On the unity of the Catholic Church], 4).
Pope Benedict XVI also noted that Cyprian knew well that "outside the Church there is no salvation", and said so in strong words (Epistles 4, 4 and 73, 21).
Benedict also said, that for St. Cyprian, an indispensable characteristic of the Church is unity, symbolized by Christ's seamless garment (ibid., 7).
Cyprian said this unity is founded on Peter (ibid., 4), and finds its perfect fulfillment in the Eucharist (Epistle 63, 13).
He was later beheaded in 268 A.D.
HW: Study the life, writings and martyrdom of St. Cyprian here.