Saints Cornelius and Cyprian were 3rd century Christians. St. Cornelius was a pope. At the time, many Christians were being martyred. Some renounced their faith and then later repented. A priest named Novatian said that these Christians should not be allowed back in the Church. Pope St. Cornelius successfully opposed Novatian’s position.
St. Cyprian was a bishop who also opposed Novatian’s views. He offered support and encouragement to Cornelius. He also encouraged him to grow in holiness.
Both of these men were martyred for their beliefs.
Patron Saint of …
St Cyprian is the patron saint of Algeria and North Africa. St. Cornelius is the patron saint of those with epilepsy, earaches, and fevers.
Daily Mass Readings for the Memorial of Saint Cornelius and Cyprian
- First Reading – 2 Corinthians 4:7-15: “We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 126: “Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.”
- Gospel – John 17:11b-19: “They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.”
Quotes from Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian
Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides of death always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence the first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy.St. Cyprian to St. Cornelius
No one can have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother.St. Cyprian
Whatever a man prefers to God, that he makes a god to himself.St. Cyprian
This game can be used to illustrate the importance of Christians supporting each other, just as Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian did.
More background on the Decian persecution and the schism. Also, this article includes additional information about the childhood and background of these saints.