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Saints Perpetua and Felicity March 7 breski1 Mar 6, 2008 Perpetua and Felicity (died 7 March 203) are Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Perpetua (born in 181) was a 22-year old married noble, …More
Saints Perpetua and Felicity March 7

breski1 Mar 6, 2008 Perpetua and Felicity (died 7 March 203) are Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Perpetua (born in 181) was a 22-year old married noble, and a nursing mother. Her co-martyr Felicity, an expectant mother, was her slave. They suffered together at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa
.The Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is said to preserve the actual words of the martyrs and their friends. According to this Passion, in the year 203, during the persecutions of the emperor Septimius Severus, five catechumens, among whom Perpetua and Felicity, were arrested for their faith and executed.
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MARCH 7, 2011
DAILY PRAYER WITH REGNUM CHRISTI
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March 7, 2011
Memorial of Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity, martyrs
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the
elders in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around
it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant
farmers and left on a …More
MARCH 7, 2011
DAILY PRAYER WITH REGNUM CHRISTI
PAYBACK TIME
March 7, 2011
Memorial of Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity, martyrs
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the
elders in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around
it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant
farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant
to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the
vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away
empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they
beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom
they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they
killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them
last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants
said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and
the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the
vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the
vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture passage: The
stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the
Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?" They were
seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized
that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went
away.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come before you humbly. As one who
has frequently fallen into sin, I am aware of my weakness. Your great
love, though, assures me that your grace can keep me on the path to
holiness.
Petition: Lord, let me be open to you and your messages.
1. Stand Corrected Being corrected hurts. Being corrected in public
hurts even more. And having one's whole way of life corrected —
well, that really stings. And so it must have been for the group of
leaders who approached Jesus. Our Lord, in a not-so-subtle way, tells
them that they are wrong. Wrong about their self-righteousness, wrong
about their narrow reading of Scripture, and wrong about how they
think God works in the world. This blinded them to the Son of God
when he came among them. We like to think we would have been
different ― we would not have rejected Jesus, we tell
ourselves. Are we so sure? Aren't we really like the leaders of
Jesus' time when we fail to listen to his agents ― a bishop, a
parish priest, a legitimate superior? Have I said no to Christ
lately?
2. "Another Servant" God doesn't give up on us after one try. He
often sends a number of messengers into our lives, to draw us closer
to him. Such is the illogic of a Father's love. Where do we miss the
clues that God sends us? It could be in something a child says; a
line from a homily; an e-mail from a friend in crisis ― these
are the ordinary means God uses to reach out to us. Old Testament
prophets faced rejection by the people of God. Have things changed
much? Could I be turning a deaf ear to a prophet?
3. "This Is the Heir" The tenant farmers don't seem very bright.
They murder the son in order to get his inheritance. What father
would give an inheritance to someone who killed his son? It doesn't
make sense. Then again, sin doesn't make sense either. Many times we
reject Christ in our life and then wonder why our prayers to God the
Father go (seemingly) unanswered. What could we be thinking? How
often do I offer up a sacrifice or an act of charity for a prayer
intention?
Conversation with Christ: Let me live up to the demands of my
faith, Lord. Let me realize that my dignity as a Christian demands
that I try to live a life worthy of my baptism ― that I not be
satisfied living like everyone else.
Resolution: I will offer up a decade of a rosary for a family
member who is far from the faith.
meditation.regnumchristi.org
Irapuato
Perpetua and Felicity (died 7 March 203) are Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Perpetua (born in 181) was a 22-year old married noble, and a nursing mother. Her co-martyr Felicity, an expectant mother, was her slave. They suffered together at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.
The Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is said to preserve the actual words of the …More
Perpetua and Felicity (died 7 March 203) are Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Perpetua (born in 181) was a 22-year old married noble, and a nursing mother. Her co-martyr Felicity, an expectant mother, was her slave. They suffered together at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.
The Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is said to preserve the actual words of the martyrs and their friends. According to this Passion, in the year 203, during the persecutions of the emperor Septimius Severus, five catechumens, among whom Perpetua and Felicity, were arrested for their faith and executed.
Text and content
The text as recorded in the Passio SS Perpetua et Felicitas claims to contain the autobiographical account of Perpetua, edited and/or commented on by Tertullian.[1]
The group consisted of a slave named Revocatus, his fellow slave Felicitas, two free men (Saturninus and Secundulus), and Perpetua. Perpetua's father was a pagan, her mother and two brothers Christians, one of the brothers being a catechumen. These five prisoners were soon joined by Saturus, who seems to have been their catechist and who now chose to share their punishment. Initially, they were all kept under strict guard in a private house. Perpetua wrote a vivid account of what happened. Their sufferings while in prison, the angry and increasingly desperate attempts of Perpetua's father to induce her to renounce Christianity, the vicissitudes of the martyrs before their execution, the visions of Saturus and Perpetua in their dungeons, were all committed to writing by the last two, in a genre of text called a "Passion".
[edit] Dating issues
Their date of their martyrdom is traditionally given as 203. The association of the martyrdom with a birthday festival of the Emperor Geta, however, might seem to place it after 209, when Geta was made "Augustus" (having held the junior title Caesar since 198 when his elder brother had been made "Augustus"), though before 211, when he was assassinated. The Acta notes that the martyrdom occurred in the year when Minucius Timinianus was proconsul in the Roman province of Africa, but as Timinianus is not otherwise attested in history, this information does not clarify the date. The Golden Legend, however, places the martyrdom in 256, under the emperors Valerian and Gallienus.[2]
[edit] Martyrdom
The details of the martyrdoms survive in both Latin and Greek texts (see below). Perpetua's account of events leading to their death, apparently historical, is written in the first person, the grounds for considering it the earliest surviving text written by a Christian woman. After a brief introduction (chapters i–ii), the narrative and visions of Perpetua (iii–1x) are followed by the vision of Saturus (xi–xiii); the account of their deaths, written by an eyewitness, are appended (xiv–xxi).
By order of Emperor Septimius Severus (193–211), all imperial subjects were forbidden under severe penalties to become Christians or Jews. Only recent converts were affected.[3] As a result, all five were seized and cast into prison, but before being led away, they were baptized.
According to her "Acta", the terrors of imprisonment were increased for Perpetua by anxiety for her unweaned child. Two deacons succeeded in gaining admittance by bribing the jailer, and Perpetua's mother brought Perpetua's son in her arms, whom she was permitted to nurse and keep with her, "and straightway I became well and was lightened of my labour and care for the child; and suddenly the prison was made a palace for me." A vision assured her of her approaching martyrdom: Perpetua saw herself treading on a dragon's head and ascending a perilous bronze ladder leading to green meadows, where a flock of sheep was grazing. According to the "Acta", a few days later Perpetua's father, hearing that the trial of the imprisoned Christians would soon take place, again visited their dungeon and besought her not to bring this disgrace on their name; but Perpetua remained steadfast. The next day the trial of the six took place, before the Procurator Hilarianus. All six resolutely confessed their Christian faith. Perpetua's father, carrying her child in his arms, approached her again and attempted, for the last time, to induce her to apostatize; the procurator also remonstrated with her, but in vain. She refused to sacrifice to the gods. The procurator thereupon had the father removed by force; in the process he was struck with a whip.
The Christians were then condemned to be torn to pieces by wild beasts, for which they gave thanks to God.
In a vision Perpetua saw her brother Dinocrates, who had died from a disfiguring disease and unbaptized at the early age of seven, in a place of darkness and distress. She prayed for him and later had a vision of him happy and healthy, his disfigurement only a scar. In another apparition, she apparently saw herself defeating a savage Egyptian, and her interpretation of this was that she would have to do battle not merely with wild beasts but with the Devil himself.
Saturus, who also recorded his visions, saw himself and Perpetua transported eastward by four angels to a beautiful garden, where they met with four other North African Christians who had suffered martyrdom during the same persecution, viz. Jocundus, Saturninus, Artaius, and Quintus.
He also saw in this vision Bishop Optatus of Carthage and the priest Aspasius, who besought the martyrs to arrange a reconciliation between them. Meanwhile, the birthday of Emperor Geta approached, on which occasion the condemned Christians were to fight with wild beasts in the military games; they were therefore transferred to the prison in the camp.
Perpetua had another significant vision as well, which repeated the first. In this vision, Perpetua saw a ladder leading to heaven. At the bottom of the ladder was a serpent, attacking the Christians trying to climb the ladder to heaven. From this vision Perpetua claimed that she would have to fight Satan rather than just the beast of the arena. Furthermore, she learned that she would not be defeated in her quest and was defiantly confident.
Pudens, their gaoler, had come to respect his charges, and he permitted other Christians to visit them. Perpetua's father was also admitted and made another fruitless attempt to dissuade her from her impending matyrdom.
Secundulus died in prison. Felicitas, who was eight months pregnant, was apprehensive that she would not be permitted to suffer martyrdom with the others, since the law forbade the execution of pregnant women, but two days before the games she gave birth to a daughter, who was adopted by a Christian woman. On the day of the games, the five were led into the amphitheatre. At the demand of the crowd they were first scourged; then a boar, a bear, and a leopard, were set on the men, and a wild cow on the women. Wounded by the wild animals, they gave each other the kiss of peace and were then put to the sword. "But Perpetua, that she might have some taste of pain, was pierced between the bones and shrieked out; and when the swordsman's hand wandered still (for he was a novice), herself set it upon her own neck. Perchance so great a woman could not else have been slain (being feared of the unclean spirit) had she not herself so willed it." So end the Acta.
Their bodies were interred at Carthage.
[edit] Veneration

Mosaic of Saint Perpetua, Croatia.
In Carthage a magnificent basilica was afterwards erected over the tomb of the martyrs, the Basilica Maiorum, where an ancient inscription bearing the names of Perpetua and Felicitas has been found.
Saints Felicitas and Perpetua (mentioned in that order) are two of seven women commemorated by name in the second part of the Canon of the Mass. The Blessed Virgin Mary is commemorated in the first part.
The feast day of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas, 7 March, was celebrated even outside Africa, and is entered in the Philocalian Calendar, the 4th-century calendar of martyrs venerated publicly at Rome. When Saint Thomas Aquinas's feast was inserted into the Roman calendar, for celebration on the same day, the two African saints were thenceforth only commemorated. This was the situation in the Tridentine Calendar established by Pope Pius V, and remained so until the year 1908, when Pope Pius X brought the date for celebrating them forward to 6 March.[4] In the 1969 reform of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas was moved, and that of Saint Perpetua and Felicity was restored to their traditional 7 March date,[5] but traditionalist Catholics continue to follow the 1908-1969 General Roman Calendar. Other Churches, including the Lutheran Church and the Episcopal Church, commemorate these two martyrs on 7 March, never having altered the date to 6 March.

[edit] Controversy over Dinocrates
The account of St Perpetua comforting her dead brother has been a point of controversy. The text gives no indication that the child had been baptized. Renatus used this account to bolster his claim that unbaptized infants could attain paradise, if not the kingdom of heaven. Augustine in turn proposed an explanation for how Dinocrates could have been baptized but later estranged from Christ by his pagan father.[6]
[edit] In popular culture
The once-flowering rambling rose "Félicité et Perpétue" (R. sempervirens x 'Old Blush'[7]) with palest pinks buds opening nearly white, was introduced by Robert Jacques[8] in 1828.[9]
Two historical fiction novels have been written from the point of view of Perpetua. Amy Peterson's Perpetua: A Bride, A Martyr, A Passion (ISBN 978-0972927642) was published in 2004, and Malcolm Lyon's The Bronze Ladder (ISBN 978-1905237517) in 2006.
[edit] Bibliography
[edit] Books and articles
Butler, Rex: The New Prophecy and "New Visions": Evidence of Montanism in the Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas: Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press: 2006: ISBN 0-8132-1455-6
Dronke, Peter. Women Writers of the Middle Ages. Cambridge, 1984.
Maitland, Sara (introduction): The Martyrdom of Perpetua: Evesham: Arthur James: 1996: ISBN 0-85305-352-9
Nolan, Edward: Cry Out and Write: A Feminine Poetics of Revelation: New York: Continuum: 1994: ISBN 0-8264-0684-X
Robeck, Cecil: Prophecy in Carthage: Perpetua, Tertullian and Cyprian: Cleveland: Pilgrim Press: 1992: ISBN 0-8298-0924-4
Ronsse, Erin Ann: Rhetoric of martyrs: Transmission and reception history of the "Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas". Ph.D. diss., University of Victoria (Canada), 2008, 438 pages; AAT NR40485
Salisbury, Joyce: Perpetua's Passion: New York: Routledge: 1997:ISBN 0-415-91837-5
von Franz, Marie-Louise: The Passion of Perpetua: A Psychological Interpretation of Her Visions: Toronto: Inner City Books: 2004: ISBN 1-894574-11-7
[edit] Videography
Perpetua: Early Church Martyr (2009) - documentary.
Torchlighters: The Perpetua Story (2009) - animated DVD for children ages 8–12.
[edit] References
^ Hayman, Henry (November 1892). "Some Notes on 'The Passion of St. Perpetua' etc.". The Classical Review 6 (9): 386–7.
^ de Voragine, Jacobus (1995). William Granger Ryan. ed. The golden legend: readings on the saints. Volume II. Princeton UP. pp. 342–43. ISBN9780691001548. books.google.com/books. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
^ Dale Irvin and Scott Sunquist, History of World Christian Movement (Orbis Books. Maryknoll, NY, 2001), 82-83
^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 89
^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 119
^ Church Fathers Volume 14 Augustin
^ Its French equivalent name is R. 'Noisette'.
^ Robert Jacques was director of horticulture for King Louis-Philippe.
^ Marie-Thérèse Haudebourg, Roses et jardins Hachette, ISBN 2-01-236947-2, p.177
[edit] External links
The Passion of St. Perpetua in Latin, Greek and English translation. The complete text at www.earlychurchtexts.com.
"Sts. Felicitas and Perpetua". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. www.newadvent.org/cathen/06029a.htm.
Early Christian Writings: Acts of Perpetua
Medieval Sourcebook: The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity. From W.H. Shewring, trans. The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity, (London: 1931), modernized.
Henry Wace, A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D. 1911
Patron Saints Index: St. Felicity
Episcopal Church Lectionary: Lessons for the Feast of Perpetua and Felicity page 223 of saint perpetua
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetua_and_Felicity