Sts. Perpetua and Felicity

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity were Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Vibia Perpetua was a recently married, well-educated noblewoman, said to have been 22 years old at the time of her death, and mother of an infant son she was nursing. Felicity, an enslaved woman imprisoned with her and pregnant at the time, was martyred with her. They were put to death along with others at Carthage in the area of Africa in the Roman province of Africa (now known as Tunisia).

The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity narrates their death. Five people were arrested and executed at the military games in celebration of the Emperor Septimius Severus’s birthday. Along with Felicitas and Perpetua, these included two free men, Saturninus and Secundulus, and an enslaved man named Revocatus; all were catechumens or Christians being instructed in the faith but not yet baptized. To this group of five was added a further man named Saturus, who voluntarily went before the magistrate and proclaimed himself a Christian.


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