Saturday, September 16, 2023

Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Saint Cornelius:  Patron Saint of cattle and domestic animals

Invoked against earaches, epilepsy, fevers, and twitching

Saints Cornelius and Cyprian lived and served Christ and His Church during a time not significantly different from what we are going through today: Take away ad hominem attacks, politispeak slander and euphemisms, it’s obvious that we have a full on attack on Judeo-Christian values - the very ones America was founded uponl and attacks  on Christianity by Corporate America, including Bud Light, Delta Airlines, NorthFace,  the US Navy, Kohl’s, Major League Baseball,  Los Angeles Dodgers, Target,  USSoccer,  et al, ad the White House, DOJ, FBI and Main Stream Media are in lock step to promote the Christo-Fascist, America Is Racist narratives

Saints Cornelius and Cyprian faced severe persecution from the state and led the people of God through that suffering by word and example. They also vigorously supported the unity of the Church, were merciful to sinners, and were true shepherds of their flocks.

Cyprian, born Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, was the son of wealthy pagan parents in North Africa. Well-educated in Greco-Roman literature and rhetoric, he had a successful career as a lawyer and teacher. Around the age of forty-six, he converted to Christianity and gave much of his wealth away, devoting himself to prayer and asceticism. Within three years, he was ordained a deacon, a priest, and finally, the Bishop of Carthage, in modern-day Tunisia, North Africa, around the year 249.

Saint Cyprian of Carthage is second in importance only to the great Saint Augustine as a figure and Father of the African church. He was a close friend of Pope Cornelius, and supported him both against the anti-pope Novatian and in his views concerning the re-admittance of apostates into the Church.

His writings are of great importance, especially his treatise on The Unity of the Catholic Church, in which he argues that unity is grounded in the authority of the bishop, and among the bishops, in the primacy of the See of Rome.

In 250, Roman Emperor Decius implemented the first empire-wide, systematic persecution of Christians.
During the persecutions, Pope Fabian was martyred. Once Emperor Decius died and the persecutions ended, a group of bishops gathered in Rome and elected Cornelius as the new pope. Novatian was displeased with this development and had himself ordained as a second bishop of Rome, positioning himself as the first antipope.  After Emperor Decius died, Gallus became the Roman emperor. While Gallus did not continue the empire-wide persecution of Christians, he did support the restoration of pagan Roman religious practices. Within a year of becoming emperor, he had Pope Cornelius exiled to Centumcellae (modern-day Civitavecchia), a city just outside Rome, on the Mediterranean coast. A year later, due to harsh conditions, Pope Cornelius died in exile and is considered a martyr.

As we honor these early saints, ponder the impact that they had on the early Church. Their witness affected the people of their time and has had an ongoing effect upon subsequent generations. Honor these holy men of God by imitating their courage and mercy in your own life so that God will use you to influence not only those in your life, but also those who will come after you in ways that are known only to God.

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