Felicissimus, deacon of Carthage
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 [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.