Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Book of Saint Cyprian

The sorcerer died like a saint. The saint passed to the history like a sorcerer. Cyprian repented of the practice of black magic, converted to Christianity, died wretchedly in the name of Christ but, despite all that, today, Saint Cipriano is famous, very famous, not for his saintity but by the book that has his name on the cover. It is a popular book on witchcraft. A prayer book, yes; but they are exotic prayers to satisfy desires that, often, are nothing Christian. The true is that the saint went into history as sorcerer.

The historic search indicates that the Book of Saint Cyprian was not written by Saint Cyprian. There are some reasons for support this idea. Cyprian had destroyed his notes and pagan studies in his act of conversion. He burned all them.

Considering more than 30 years of training and practice in arts or sciences occult, Cyprian should be considered an occultist, a scholar of magic and not just mere sorcerer versed in popular sympathies, filters of love and prosperity cause this is the material that constitutes the contents of all of The St. Cyprian Books that were published even today. However, it isn't impossible that some material has escaped of the flames.

The sorcerer Cyprian was also an scholar. He wrote and drew formulas and signs everywhere: as on walls and furniture of the houses where he lived. In addition, prior to conversion, the master sorcerer had disciples who preserved his teachings.

Even so, the authorship of the Books of St. Cyprian is doubtful. He died in 304 AD. The most important historical reference on its existence and his biography is a written confession of the repentant sorcerer. This document was rescued by the scholar Marques De Mirville (1802-1873). He found the parchment in the Vatican Library (Rome, Italy).

About the Grimoire whose authorship is attributed to St. Cyprian, it first appeared in a German monastery. The text would have been found by a monk named Jonas Sufurino, who translated the original Hebrew to German. However, the first printed editions appeared only a few centuries later, in 1460, in France.

Soon, the superstitious mindset of the people, the yearning for magic solutions for the problems of the life, turned the Book of Saint Cyprian in a popular literature. The profane prayers, printed in pamphlets were circulated throughout Western and Eastern Europe. The book were translated for English, Portuguese, Spanish.

In 1510 the canadense editor Jean Jacques Kean published a edition with the title El Libro de San Cipriano: Tesoro del Hetichero, in spanish. At countries european east, the Cipriano scrolls of or rolls printed in Constantinople in 1712, were used as talismans in the modern period [Modern Age]. These panflets Contained an account of the life of the saint, popular prayers and enchantments for all occasions.

In 1849, appeared the first complete edition in Portuguese of The Book of Saint Cyprian: transcript of the manuscript written by the saint who teaches how to undo all the enchantments of the Moors in the kingdom of Portugal. It was in the Iberian Peninsula that the myth of the saint sorcerer remained with greater force. As the new world settlers, the Portuguese and Spaniards brought to Americas the belief in the magical powers of the Cyprian and the first copies of Grimoire or The Famous and truly Great Book of Saint Cyprian.

In the Iberian peninsula, the cultural hybridism produces the association among the saint magician early Christianity to the demonic arts of the Moors, the enchantments of the Arab alchemists, the mysteries of gypsy witches of the East.

Cyprian, like black magician, has transcended the historical condition to establishing itself definitively as a legendary figure and folk, archetypal representative of the image of any powerful wizard, master of the enchantments and magic potions. By L. Cabus – August, 2010


DAVIES, Owen. Ancient and medieval grimories. IN Grimoires: a history of magic books. Oxford University Press, 2009. Google Books.
MISSLER, Peter. Las Hondas raíces del Ciprianillo, 2ª parte: Los Grimórios. IN Culturas Populares Revista Eletrônica, 2006. []
SUMMERS, Montague. Witchcraft and Black Magic. Courier Dover Publications, 2000. IN Google Books.
The Lives of Sts. Cyprian and Justina. IN Ortodox Christian Information Center. []

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