St. Perpetua and Felicity
The reading “The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity” is about the story of how these two women, Perpetua and Felicity, were martyrized and killed for being Christians. According to the reading, Perpetua was a young and rich 22 year-old mother of a young baby. Perpetua had learned about Christianity from Saturus, a deacon, who also became part of the calvary. She became a prisoner, accompanied by several of her servants Felicity, Revocatus, Saturninus and Secundulus and also Saturus. They were all given the opportunity to recant. Nonetheless, neither of them denied Jesus. They were all willing to die for their love of Jesus Christ.
Perpetua’s father went to see her in prison more than once and begged her to deny Christ. He asked her numerous times to reconsider her Christian position because of the pain her death will cause him and also her baby, who was still “a child at the breast. ” Perpetua never hesitated. She told her father just like “a vessel or pitcher can’t be called by any other name than that which it is,” she couldn’t call herself “nought other than that which I am, a Christian. ” While in captivity, Perpetua wrote her diary in which she describes the condition of the prison, in which she was placed.
She describes the prison as a small, hot and dark placed. She suffered for not having her baby by her side, and asked God to give her valor and strength so she can endure the physical punishment she was going to receive for defending her religion. Eventually, they are finally moved, “for a few hours,” to a bigger and more lighted place. Perpetua was also able to breastfeed her baby. Felicity was Perpetua’s slave. She was pregnant and according to the law, no pregnant woman could be sacrificed. This could have been Felicity’s “free ticket” to avoid being killed.
However, Felicity was as devoted as her master. She also did not recant and deny Christ. Felicity, Perpetua and the others prayed to God so she can have her baby and also be sacrificed. Eventually, Perpetua, Felicity and four men who accompanied Perpetua were sent to the tribunal and sentenced to be killed. The men were devoured by beasts. Perpetua and Felicity, on the other hand, were sentenced to be killed by a savage cow. They “were stripped and placed on a net,” and although the spectators were ready to see a massacre, they did not enjoy seeing the bodies of these two naked young women.
Therefore, Perpetua and Felicity “were called back and clothed in loose robes. ” Perpetua was modest and although she was being impaled by the savage cow, she fixed her robe and hair. These two women end up being decapitated. Even in their last moments of life, they were brave and acceptors of their destiny. Perpetua grabbed the sword of her executioner and placed her directly to her neck, demonstrating to everybody that she made the right decision by following her heart and her God. As a mother, I honestly, do not think I could leave my children behind, just like Perpetua did.
When she was given the opportunity to breastfeed her baby, she states she “became well and was lightened of my labour and care for the child. ” When she had her baby by her side, she even envisioned that atrocious prison as her own palace. However, there was never a moment in Perpetua’s life when she doubted her fate. She was willing to die for Christ, even if that meant being apart from her family. She was willing to sacrifice the opportunity to see her child grow and become an adult. What a martyr!