St. Perpetua had just become a mother and St. Felicitas was on the point of becoming one, when they were arrested at Carthage during the persecution of Severus. When thrown into prison they united their prayers and tears, fearing to escape martyrdom. “God heard them” (Epistle). When the judge told them that they were condemned to the wild beasts, they were transported with joy, like the merchant of the Gospel, for at that price they would purchase heaven. They were exposed in the amphitheatre to the fury of a fierce cow and killed by the sword towards 203.

Let us undergo in body and in spirit the martyrdom of penance, so as to obtain the “perpetual felicity” which the names of these two saints suggest, as St. Augustine ingeniously remarks. Their names are mentioned in the Canon of the Mass (Second list).  Continue Reading