Feast Day: March 7
In the Opening Prayer on March 7 we pray, “Father, your love gave the saints Perpetua and Felicity courage to suffer a cruel martyrdom. By their prayers, help us to grow in love of you” (Sacramentary).
Perpetua and Felicity lived in Carthage, Africa, during a time of the persecution of Christians. Both women were catechumens who were preparing for their initiation into the Christian community. They were arrested and sentenced to death. While they were in prison, they were baptized and received new life in Christ. Perpetua kept a diary while in prison that tells us about her life and death.
Perpetua came from a wealthy family. Her father was a pagan and begged her to give up her faith. Perpetua told him that she would not lie about her belief in Jesus. Her father came and collected her infant son from the prison before his mother was put to death. Felicity was a slave who worked in Perpetua’s house. She gave birth to a daughter shortly before she was killed, and the child was adopted by a Christian.
The women were executed in the year 203, mauled by wild animals and then killed by a gladiator. Their faith was such an example that one of their guards became a Christian because of them.
The Church honors Perpetua and Felicity as saints. Their example reminds us to thank God for making us his children in the sacrament of Baptism. We pray for the grace and faith to live our faith each day.
Connecting to Be My Disciples®
Grade 5, chapter 17