St Cyprian is one of the earliest of the Martyrs of Africa, now joined by the monks of Tibhirine, killed in Algeria in 1996 and beatified in 2018.

In his treatise on the Lord’s Prayer, St Cyprian wrote: ‘Let us therefore, brethren beloved, pray as God our Teacher has taught us. It is a loving and friendly prayer to beseech God with His own word, to come up to His ears in the prayer of Christ. Let the Father acknowledge the words of His Son when we make our prayer, and let Him also who dwells within in our breast Himself dwell in our voice. And since we have Him as an Advocate with the Father for our sins, let us, when as sinners we petition on behalf of our sins, put forward the words of our Advocate. For since He says, that whatsoever we shall ask of the Father in His name, He will give us, how much more effectually do we obtain what we ask in Christ’s name, if we ask for it in His own prayer!’

May the great sweep of African martyrs pray for us, in all the challenges of our own day, and may God bless you.