Praying to Saints and Folk Magic: San Cipriano di Antiochia

Cipriano was a professional magician or mago in Antioch, Pisidia, who orginally was a native of Carthage. Cipriano mastered the art of magic and became known as a great sorcerer. It was said he could produce rain and thunder and call forth spirits from their graves. He sold many love-philtres and other potions, charms, and incantations. He practiced a strict diet of plain food, including acorns, and no bread. In his travels, Cipriano had aquired several esoteric manuscripts and having compiled spells and esoteric knowledge from diverse sources. He also composed his own book(s) so that others might also study these things.

A young libertine and womanizer, named Adelaide, hired Cipriano help him obtain the affections of a particularly beautiful young woman who had rejected Adelaide and his offer of marriage. Cipriano plied his arts to no avail to induce the girl to marry his client. He observed that the girl, known as Giustina, thwarted his arts--through prayers and the sign of the cross.

Awed by the strength of the faith of Santa Giustina (Saint Justina) and inspired by the power of her God, Cipriano was converted to Christianity and baptised by Anthimus, the Bishop of Antioch. He burned his magic books. San Cipriano became a priest and became Santa Giustina's brother in Christ. Eventually, San Cipriano became the Bishop of Antioch. Santa Giustina (Saint Justina) consecrated her virginity to God, and became the leader of a convent of nuns.

San Cipriano di Antiochia was martyred on September 26 in 304 in Nicomedia, during the time of the Roman emperor Diocletian. His relics are in the Vatican Basilica and Saint John Lateran, in Rome, Italy.

San Cipriano di Antiochia's feast day is September 26. Santa Giustina (Saint Justina) was martyred on the same date. After being tortured, both saints were beheaded on the bank of the river Gallus. Christian sailors secretly collected their bodies and transported them to Rome, where the remains were orginally entombed on the estate of a noble lady named Rufina. Much later, San Cipriano di Antiochia's relics were moved to their present locations.

However, an unorthodox legend claims that not all of San Cipriano's books were destroyed. He had taught portions of his art to some students and copies of the book(s) are still circulating today. There are apprently several different copies of the "Ciprianillo" or "Cyprianus" written in Portuguese, Spanish, and Scandinavian--and apparently in Italian, too--all claiming to be the genuine Book of St. Cyprian of Antioch. Even the founder of Thesophy, Madame Helena Blavatsky wrote about "St. Cyprian Of Antioch."

There is another unorthodox legend which stated that while St. Cipriano did genuinely embrace Christianity, and the worship of the most powerful God, he never entirely renounced sorcery, which he secretly continued to practice alongside of his Christian faith for the benefit and protection of other Christians.

According to Christian tradition, St. Cyprian of Antioch was allegedly the author of some of the exorcism prayers contained in the Priest's Prayer Book.

San Cipriano di Antiochia (St. Cyprian of Antioch) is unofficially known as the patron saint for those who have practiced the magic arts or have been victimized by the magic arts. Thus, he has achieved the unique position as the patron saint of apostates, magicians, curanderos, magos, root doctors, sorcerers, spirit-workers, mystics, spiritualists, and occultists. (Note : While the Catholic church does officially recogonize St. Cyprian of Antioch as a saint and a repentant magician, it does NOT recognize him as providing patronage to any of the above practioners.)

Official or not, here is a prayer petitioning aid from San Cipriano di Antiochia in his role as a former powerful magician, turned protective saint.

San Cipriano di Antiochia, who by Divine Grace was converted to the faith of our Lord Gesù Cristo [Jesus Christ]; you who possessed the highest secrets of magic, build now a refuge for me against my enemies and their evil deeds. For the merit that you obtained before God, Creator of heaven and earth, cancel out evil spells, products of hate, the spells that hardened hearts have cast or will come cast to cast against my person and against my home. With the permission of God Onnipotente answer my prayer and come to my assistance, for the blood of our Lord Gesù Cristo [Jesus Christ]. Amen.
St. Cyprian of Antioch, the repentant magician, is sometimes confused with St. Cyprian of Carthage. St. Cyprian of Carthage was a bishop of Carthage, not Antioch. St. Cyprian of Carthage was involved in the great argument over whether apostates, that is Christians fell away from Christ (aka "lapsi"), should be readmitted to the Catholic Church; Cyprian believed they should, but under stringent conditions of earnest repentance. St. Cyprian of Carthage is the Catholic patron saint of Algeria and North Africa. St. Cyprian of Carthage was martyed by beheading on September 14, 258 in Carthage, North Africa. His feast day is September 16.

St. Cyprian of Antioch is also sometimes confused with St. Cyprian the Athlete, who was known in northern Italy. As a young man in Greece, Cyprian had achieved fame as an athlete. He won the laurel crown at Olympus as a wrestler, and became a coach and trainer. Around the age of forty, Cyprian was converted to Christianity. In 398, St. Cyprian the Athlete founded a religious order which eventually moved its location to a monastery in Tuscany, Italy. Eventually this order of monks, founded by St. Cyprian the Athlete, became known as the "Strenuati" or the "Little Musclemen of God." The rules of the Order of St. Cyprian were derived largely from the training program their founder had used as a wrestler and a coach. According to Cyprian, physical excercise was valuable in distracting the minds of young men from worldly thoughts. St. Cyprian the Athlete also advocated wholesome plain food and bathing to purify body and soul.

Those who wish to petition San Cipriano di Antiochia's help can burn a purple candle on a Saturday to request protection from womanizers, liars, and cheaters. He helps homeless people, too. Occult shops and botanicas sell "San Cipriano Oil" for annointing candles. Some practitioners blend their own "San Cipriano Oil" mixing cinnamon powder (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), galangal root powder (Alpinia galanga), orris root powder (Iris germanica), with a few drops of cedar oil, cypress oil, and myrrh oil into a base oil, such as castor oil or olive oil.

"San Cipriano Oil" is also sometimes used to reconcile someone with her or his fiancee by rubbing the oil on a Happy Couple Candle, depicting the pair dressed in wedding clothes. However, the saints, Cyprian and Justina, ought to be petitioned with the specific intention of a forth-coming honorable and loving Christian marriage.

Occult shops and botanicas also sell "San Cipriano Bath Crystals" for spiritual cleansings to wash away negative influences and negative attitudes and purify body and soul. (I couldn't find a list of ingredients for the bath crystals. Although I'm fairly certain the ingredients are somewhat different than for the "San Cipriano Oil.")

Anyone desiring the protection or patronage of San Cipriano di Antiochia (St. Cyprian of Antioch), and who is a "servo" or "serva" of the God Onnipotente, ought to aquire a prayer card with the saint's image and set it on a purple cloth with a glass of fresh water, white candle, and a crucifix.

For nine evenings in a row, the petitioner will light the candle and recite his or her daily prayers, including nine Our Fathers, and a prayer to San Cipriano--adding: "San Cipriano di Antiochia, grant me yor protection and liberate me from any danger. I ask in the name of Gesù Cristo [Jesus Christ] that you bless this water which I place before you. Empower it with wisdom and knowledge, provide for sleep, and my memory. Amen."

The petitioner extinguishes candle when he or she retires each of the nine nights, and re-lights the candle again in the evening.

In the morning, the petitioner takes three sips from the glass of water in honor of the Trinity, and pours out the rest of the water. He or she refills the glass with fresh water each night.

To secure support from friendly spirits and empower prayer rituals, devotees petition San Cipriano di Antiochia by annointing a red candle with his oil and reciting an appropriate prayer. Some botanicas and candle shops sell nine inch San Cipriano figure candles which are formed into the saint's image. Others sell novena candles with red or purple wax which have San Cipriano's likeness pictured on the glass jar.

To conquer fortune and bring liberation from evils, a devotee of San Cipriano di Antiochia should gather together a whole head of garlic, erba buona [spearmint?], parsely, rock salt, and grains of incence. He should place all items inside a white cloth bag. He then must travel to seven different churches and dip the white bag and its contents in seven different fonts of holy water--each time saying, "Liberami dai miei nemici, che mi vogliono male." This white bag ought to be kept with the saint's prayer card, ideally on a home altar.

There are those who say San Cipriano di Antiochia is best petitioned on a Saturday.

San Cipriano di Antiochia (St. Cyprian of Antioch) as a former sorcerer was be believed especially effectious in routing evil spirits. Below is are two magico-religious "prayers" in English and Italian attributed to him.

Prayer of St. Cyprian for preserving against evil spirits

Oh mighty father! Oh mother the most tender of mothers! Oh admirable specimen of maternal tenderness! Oh child, flower children! O form of all forms! Soul, spirit, harmony of all things. Been preserved from all the evil spirits that besiege us continuously without our knowing. Amen.

Orazione di San Cipriano per preservarsi dagli spirit maligni

Oh padre potentissimo! Oh madre la più tenera delle madri! Oh esemplare ammirabile della materna tenerezza! Oh figlio, fiore dei figli! Oh forma di tutte le forme! Anima, spirito, armonia di tutte le cose. Conservateci, proteggeteci, guidateci, liberateci da tutti gli spiriti maligni che ci assediano proteggeteci, guidateci, liberateci continuamente senza che noi lo sappiamo. Amen.

Prayer of St. Cyprian of Antioch

As a servant of God and His creature, evil spirit loose from what it has bound. In the name of the Divine Creator, that I love with all my heart, soul, senses, and I promise to adore eternally grateful for what benefits the loving father bestowed without measure on me, I order you to separate the evil spirit from the body at once tormented, so may worthily receive the sprinkling of holy water that the rain which poured over God, saying, In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who lives and reigns forever, for the virtues of superior spirits Adonai, Elohim, Jehovah, whose presence and power to invoke the act. Amen.

Orazione di San Cipriano di Antiochia

Come servo di Dio e creatura sua, sciolgo dallo spirito maligno quanto esso tiene legato. Nel nome del Divino Creatore, che amo con tutto il cuore, l'anima, i sensi e prometto di adorare eternamente, grato dei benefici che qual padre amoroso mi elargisce senza misura, ti ordino spirito del male di separarti all'istante da questo corpo tormentato, acciò possa degnamente ricevere le aspersioni dell'acqua benedetta, che gli verso sopra quale pioggia divina, dicendo: Nel nome del Padre, del Figlio, dello Spirito Santo che vive e regna eternamente; per le virtù degli spiriti superiori Adonai, Eloim, Ieovam la cui presenza e potere invoco in questo atto. Amen.

San Cipriano is credited with having provided a charm against la jettatura or malocchio.
San Cipriano di Antiochia's charm against la jettatura

Carry the words from the Gospel of St. John, "In principium erat Verbum," written on virgin parchment with a gander-feather quill pen and magical ink.

Sortilegio contro la jettatura

Portare appeso al collo con un cordoncino di seta rossa l'evangelo di S.Giovanni, che incomincia: " In principium erat Verbum ", scritto su pergamena vergine con la penna e l'inchiostro magico e custodito entro il cannello di una grossa penna d'oca maschio.

Indeed "Rue's Kitchen" which is an excellent website of Benedicaria (the Craft of Blessing) and Stregonria (Italian folk magic), has a very long prayer to "remove the evil eye" or "per eliminare il malocchio" in Italian.

Finally, this is a written Latin charm associated with St. Cyprian.

copyright 2010 Myth Woodling

Altar for San Cipriano
Useful Prayers: Prayer of St. Cyprian
Useful Prayers: Prayer to San Cipriano di Antiochia
Useful Prayers: Prayer of Santa Giustina di Antiochia
Zoltar Candles: San Cipriano Item# S28
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