Perpetua and Felicity lived in Carthage,North Africa, in the third century. It was the time of the fierce persecution of Christians by Emperor Septimus Severus.
Twenty-two-year-old Perpetua was the daughter of a rich nobleman. While growing up, she had received everything she wanted. But she realized that she loved Jesus and her Christian faith more than anything the world could offer. For this she found herself a prisoner on the way to execution.
Perpetua's father was a pagan. He did everything possible to persuade his daughter to give up her Christian faith. He tried to convince her of the importance of saving her life. But the woman would not give in, even though she knew that she would have to leave behind her husband and baby.
Felicity, Perpetua's Christian maid, had been a slave. She and Perpetua were great friends. They shared their belief in and love for Jesus. Felicity, too, was willing to sacrifice her life for Jesus and for her faith. For this she also found herself a prisoner on the way to execution.
Felicity was also a young wife. While in prison for her faith, she became a mother as well. Her little baby was adopted by a good Christian woman. Felicity was happy because now she could die a martyr. Hand in hand, Perpetua and Felicity bravely faced martyrdom together. They were charged by wild animals and then beheaded. They died around the year 202.
Reflection: Let us pray today for mothers who are separated from their families and children, especially through injustice and violence.