Saint Cyprian served as bishop of Carthage in the Roman province of Africa (in modern Tunisia). He was baptized late in life, but his conversion was radical and swift. Because of his great zeal, he was ordained a deacon, then priest, then bishop within only a year or two of his baptism. He struggled against heresy and the persecution of the Emperor Decius. Finally, he was beheaded on September 14.
His feast is celebrated on August 31 by the Eastern Orthodox, and on September 16 by Western Christians.