The Patron Saint of Witches

Saint Cyprian of Antioch

Strange but true: Until 2001, and for at least 700 years before that, St. Cyprian of Antioch was officially the patron saint of witches, magicians and sorcerers.

The Patron Saint of Witches

St. Cyprian with St. Justine

Cyprian was a pagan sorcerer who was reputedly able to summon and control demons. His magic, however, was foiled by the unassailable Christian faith of Justine, a woman he desired.

Cyprian converted to Christianity, became Bishop of Antioch while Justine became the abbess of a convent. The two were later martyred together by the Roman Emperor, Diocletian.

They were recognized saints at least as early as the 13th century. That’s when their shared feast day first appears in the calendar of Roman Rites.

Cyprian and Justine were removed from the official list of saints (The Roman Martyrology) in 2001, but an important part of Cyprian remains. It is Cyprian of Antioch—the man who summoned demons in his pagan youth—who wrote the rites of exorcism still used by the Church today.

Bonus Trivia: In Scandinavian folk magic, “Cyprianus” is the common name for any manuscript collection of spells, and has a dark connotation to it.

  • I read that at one time there were over 10,000 saints in the Catholic Church. Sounds pretty crowded to me.

    • It’s probably a pretty big number even now. I bet you could read through their stories and find some really quirky, interesting ones, along the lines of the two I’ve mentioned. Personally, I have enjoyed reading the stories of the Irish saints

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *