Today we celebrate Saints Perpetua and Felicidad, brave friends and martyrs of the faith.

Jasjot Singh

Every March 7, the Universal Church celebrates the saints Perpetua and Felicidad, martyrs of the faith in Jesus Christ, both born in Carthage in the s. II. These two extraordinary women gave their lives with unusual courage, that which is only possible when love and faith are great. The two women were clear witnesses that trust in God is capable of producing miracles.

Being in a situation of absolute vulnerability, the martyrs clung to divine Grace and feared neither pain nor death. With them, the Church exclaims, Death, where is your victory!

Servant and lady, sisters in Christ

Perpetua was a young woman from a wealthy and influential family in Carthage who had converted to Christianity, thanks to the preaching of a holy deacon named Saturo. Accused before the imperial authorities of professing Christianity, she was arrested along with her slave Felicidad de ella (Felícitas), and three other people, all servants of her house. Felicity, being her slave, was close in age to Perpetua and had struck up a genuine friendship with her. The conversion of her wife also opened for her the doors of her own conversion. Through Perpetua she met Jesus Christ and thanks to Him the meaning of true freedom. The two friends now recognized each other as sisters, daughters of the same God.

the martyrdom

The days of the accusation of Perpetua and Felicity were the days of the persecution organized by the emperor Septimius Severus. Both appeared before the governor of Carthage, a friend of Perpetua’s father. He tried to dissuade them from their religion and from worshiping the Roman gods. Perpetua and Felicidad refused to worship pagan gods and were condemned to die in the amphitheater.

According to the acts of Perpetua and Felicidad (the so-called Passio), both were first thrown to the beasts, some wild cows, but they could not kill them. After they gave each other the kiss of peace in Christ, they were beheaded by the executioners.

Tradition picks up the scene according to which Felicidad died of an accurate cut to the neck, while Perpetua, due to the executioner’s decision, had to be finished off in the throat, at the request and under the indication of the saint herself. The fact has become a symbol of courage and generous dedication. The saints suffered martyrdom around the year 202.

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