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St. Cyprian

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Bishop of Toulon, born at Marseilles in 476; died 3 October, 546. He was the favourite pupil of St. Caesarius of Arles by whom he was trained, and who, in 506, ordained him to the diaconate, and, in 516, consecrated him as Bishop of Toulon. St. Cyprian appears to have been present in 524 at the synod of Arles and in the following years to have attended a number of councils. At all these assemblies he showed himself a vigorous opponent of Semipelagianism. Soon after the death of Caesarius (d. 543) Cyprian wrote a life of his great teacher in two books, being moved to the undertaking by the entreaty of the Abbess Caesaria the Younger, who had been the head of the convent at Arles since 529. The life is one of the most valuable biographical remains of the sixth century. Cyprian was aided in his task by the two bishops, Firminus and Viventius, friends of Caesarius, as well as by the priest Messianus and the deacon Stephen. The main part of the work up to the fortieth chapter of the first book was most probably written by Cyprian himself. Within the last few years another writing of his has become known, a letter to Bishop Maximus of Geneva, which discusses some of the disputed theological questions of that age. The feast of St. Cyprian falls on 3 October.


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