Novena of Cyprian Unofficial Patron Saint of Magicians has posted an interesting look at magical practices involving St. Cyprian, the “unofficial patron saint of necromancers, sorcerers, witchcraft, and the occult.” We are in the midst of a period when practitioners often celebrate a novena in his honor. Here’s an excerpt if you’re not hip to this cat:
“The story of the Antioch Cyprian is related as early as the 4th century- that a pagan magician (Cyprian) sent demons after a Christian virgin (Justina) and after she was able to fend off the demons with the sign of the cross several times, Cyprian converts to Christianity. Rising in the ranks from deacon to priest to bishop, Cyprian is at once Christian cleric and knowledgeable sorcerer (for can we ever truly forget where we have been?)- and Justina in turn becomes head of a convent. Under Diocletian they were tortured, including being boiled in a cauldron- a common depiction of the two saints- and ultimately beheaded. The same fate befell Cyprian’s chief student, named by some as Theoctistus, another bishop. Unburied for six days, the bodies were then taken by sailors to Rome, where they were interred first on the estate of the noblewoman Rufina, and later interred in the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, also in Rome.
“As the unofficial patron saint of necromancers, sorcerers, witchcraft, and the occult, Saint Cyprian of Antioch receives much veneration in the New World, in large part due to the historical popularity of his cult -and the channeled Book(s) of Saint Cyprian- in the Iberian Peninsula, whose countries provided much of the colonizing force of the Americas. Many lineages of sorcery in Mexico trace their ancestry (whether in fact or symbolically) to 16 families that came in the early days of colonization. These were marrano families by tradition, and many retained practices from the Middle East while first guising as devout Jews, then by forced conversion to Catholicism, a multi-cultured melange of sorecerous tradition came to the New World.  It is said each of these families has a copy of the original Book of Cyprian, containing record of the Saint’s magic and how to perform it. Fantastical as these stories are, there are similar versions of this told by divergent groups- often citing different families as having been in Mexico, Peru and Brazil. The ‘fact’ of these stories is less interesting to me than the perpetuation of them.”


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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