The Daily Prayer
SATURDAY, March 7, 2020
Perpetua and Felicity (d. 203)
The relationship between Perpetua and Felicity began as that of a noblewoman and her servant girl. But when they embraced Christ, they became sisters in faith and ultimately co-martyrs. In 203 AD, Roman authorities arrested six Christians and condemned them to death by the sword for their refusal to renounce their faith. Among these six were twenty-two-year-old Perpetua, who had a young child, and her former slave, Felicity, who was eight months pregnant. Felicity gave birth while in prison, the night before their execution date, and her child was entrusted to a Christian couple. Eyewitness accounts document that just before their death, the two women, now equals in Christ, embraced one another with a holy kiss.
The following account is found in The Martyrdom of Perpetua: “Perpetua followed with quick step as a true spouse of Christ, the darling of God, her brightly flashing eyes quelling the gaze of the crowd. Felicitas too, joyful because she had safely survived child-birth and was now able to participate in the contest with the wild animals, passed from one shedding of blood to another; from midwife to gladiator, about to be purified after childbirth by a second baptism.”
Lord, you have brought us in safety to this new day. Preserve us now by your mighty power that we may not fall into sin nor be overcome by adversity, but in all that we do direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.