By Julia Williams
JACKSON – Perpetua and Felicity were African Christian women, whose names we hear in the litany of the saints. They were martyred during the persecution of Septimus Severus in Carthage, early in the third century.
Perpetua was the daughter of a pagan nobleman and the mother of a still nursing infant. Felicity was a pregnant slave girl who gave birth in prison just a few days before she was put to death. The persecution of Christians was a gruesome sport in Carthage.
Perpetua and Felicity, along with three male companions who also refused to renounce their faith, were taken into the public amphitheater where the men were thrown to the lions and the women were later beheaded.
In spite of being tortured herself, Perpetua encouraged the others to “stand firm in the faith, love one another and do not be tempted to do wrong because of our sufferings.”
How good a steward am I with the gift of faith? Am I willing to stand firm in the face of ridicule or criticism? What would I be willing to sacrifice for my faith?
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, please pray for us!