Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ANF V: Cyprian Epistles XXXV-XXXVI

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

Cyprian: Epistles XXXV-XXXVI

These Epistles show us something of Cyprian's view of how the church should be caring for its own. Widows, the poor, the sick, and indigent strangers should be cared for--even from Cyprian's own salary or savings if need be, which he had left with "Rogatianus, our fellow-presbyter." (Which, the note points out, shows that Cyprian does not see himself as any kind of supreme authority in the church.)
But especially the confessors in prison ought to be cared for. The church should see to both their physical needs and, on their martyrdom, remember their sacrifice appropriately with the correct "memorials of the martyrs." A practice that has unfortunately either fallen away or been corrupted into the worship of man since Cyprian's time.

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