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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Felicissimus, Deacon of Carthage

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Felicissimus (1) , deacon of Carthage, whom Novatus associated with himself in the management of a district called Mons (Cyp. Ep. 41). He was the chief agent ( signifer seditionis , Ep. 59) of the anti-Cyprianic party, which combined the five presbyters originally opposed to Cyprian's election with the later-formed party for the easy readmission of the lapsed ( Epp. 43, 45). Cyprian ( Ep. 52) definitely states that Felicissimus had been, when the persecution arose, on the point of being tried before the presbytery on charges of homicidal cruelty to his father and wife. Like other African and Spanish deacons (Neander, vol. i. p. 324, ed. Bohn), he acquired influence through his administration of church property and was able to threaten with excommunication any who accepted relief or office from Cyprian's commissioners. The latter excommunicated him ( Ep. 42) with Cyprian's consent. The mild resolution of the council of 252, making easy the readmission of the lapsed on earnest repentance [See Cyprianus], destroyed his locus standi . The party then coalesced with that of Privatus (2), who consecrated Fortunatus anti-bishop; and Felicissimus sailed for Rome to conciliate or intimidate Cornelius into recognizing him (Ep. 59). Failing here, the party melted quietly away.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Felicissimus, Deacon of Carthage'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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