The Great Book of Saint Cyprian

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The Great Book of Saint Cyprian (Portuguese: Livro de São Cipriano) is a book that deals with the occult. The book is written in Portuguese and Spanish and has been published in several editions with varying titles.


Although the book refers to Saint Cyprian, the Cyprian referred to is without doubt the legendary sorcerer and later Christian convert, bishop and saint Cyprian of Antioch, who was martyred together with Justina. The actual book appeared centuries after his death and could not possibly have been written by him. In fact, the first known edition came out in 1849. According to the full title, "it was the Book of Saint Cyprian, taken from a manuscript. Made by the Saint himself, who teaches how to undo all the spells made by the Moors in this Kingdom of Portugal, and also how to find the places where riches can be found." [1][2]


The book was taken from Portugal to Brazil and became widely used in popular religion, especially umbanda and candomblé. Several editions of the work appear as "Great and True", "The Only Complete One", "Authentic", "In a Black Cape", "In a Steel Cape"; all explain that Saint Cyprian, the sorcerer of Antioch, is not the same as the famous bishop of Carthage. All contain instructions to priests on how to cure disease; evil spells and exorcisms; a list of 174 treasures of Galicia; the Prayer of the Guardian Angel; 50 mysteries of witchcraft from the time of the Moors (including medicine); treasure of magic (for example, way to capture a little devil making a pact with Satan; black magic to destroy a marriage; a skull lit up with candles of grease to do evil to a person); an explanation of hidden powers of hatred and love; the hidden powers of magnetism; prayers of popular religiosity (Magnificat, Cross of Saint Benedict, Dream of Our Lady, Dearly beloved Jesus Christ, a prayer to aid the sick in the hour of death) and the prayer of the Black Goat; and so on.


Catholics and many Christians consider it a sin to possess it or even to touch it. Some owners of bookstores keep it chained inside a box. In Portugal, it is believed that reading the book back to front will attract the Devil.

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  1. ^ Cited in the magazine O Archeologo Português, Vol. XXIII. Lisboa, Imprensa Nacional, 1918. p.223.
  2. ^ Religiosidade Popular

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