They called him a coward
But when trouble came, he fled and hid.
His enemies denounced him as a coward, but the bishop remained faithful to his work.
In those days of trouble, many Christians were caving under the terrible pressures being exerted and were publicly turning against the faith.
Later, when they repented, many of those who had stood firm in the faith blocked the return of those who did not.
The bishop offered the repentant sinners a way back.
His enemies attacked him for being soft. The bishop, however, was not alone: the Pope was on his side.
In the end, this bishop who was accused of being a coward would be beheaded by enemies of the Church in the middle of September 258.
Later, this same bishop who had been accused of being soft in the faith would be known as one of the great Fathers of the Church.
Today the Church celebrates the memory of St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage in Africa, as well as the memory of his ally, who was also martyred, Pope St. Cornelius.