Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicitas (203)

Saint Perpetua was a noble young matron, twenty-two years old, who lived in Carthage, in Africa, and was taking instructions to be a Catholic when she was seized by the pagans there and thrown into prison. She was the mother of a very young child. Arrested with her was her servant, Saint Felicitas, who was with child, soon to be born. Both these saints were baptized with water between their arrest and their imprisonment. After the birth of the child of Saint Felicitas, these two heroic and saintly African women were brought to the amphitheater in Carthage, and gored by a wild cow. Finally, after embracing each other for the last time, they were both martyred by the sword. Their children were taken and reared by Christian women. Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicitas are mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass. They are two of the seven women to whom this honor is given. These are the seven: Saint Felicitas, Saint Perpetua, Saint Agatha, Saint Lucy, Saint Agnes, Saint Cecilia, Saint Anastasia.

“Another inside me suffers for me just as I suffer for him” — St Felicty. This mosaic of SS Perpetua and Felicity is in the crypt of the National Shrine in Washington DC. Photo by Father Lawrence Lew, O.P., some rights reserved.