By Sarah Levesque (Rated G)
Perpetua and Felicity were early Christian martyrs who died in Carthage in 203AD. The primary narrative of their experiences was written by Perpetua herself in the form of a journal. When Perpetua and Felicity refused to make sacrifices to the emperor, they were thrown in prison. Perpetua was still nursing her baby boy and Felicity was eight months pregnant when the date was set for their execution in the arena. They and those with them prayed for Felicity to bear her child before the date set, so they could all be martyred together. God heard their prayers and Felicity gave birth to a baby girl, who was brought up by another Christian. Perpetua’s son was brought up by her mother and brother.
The example of both women, along with those arrested with them, converted many who saw them imprisoned. When the group went to the arena, it was with joy and anticipation of Heaven rather than fear of the beasts they were to be thrown to. Perpetua and Felicity were thrown to a mad heifer, but it did not kill them. Perpetua, in ecstasy of the Spirit, was unaware they had even met with the cow. Eventually, Perpetua, Felicity and those who had survived the animals had their throats cut. The Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches celebrate their feast on March 7th, while the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates their feast on February 1st.
May we, like Perpetua and Felicity and their companions, boldly share our Christian faith with the world and be unafraid of worldly consequences.