Perpetua and Felicity were young mothers who died for their faith during a time of persecution in Carthage, northern Africa (modern-day Tunisia). Together with a group of men martyred with them, they are commemorated on March 7, the anniversary of their death in AD 202 or 203.
Ancient martyrdom literature reflects a worldview that is strange to modern readers. Though we should not downplay their sufferings, the martyrs understood their deaths as victory. The forces of evil wanted them to deny Christ, but they remained faithful even to the point of death. Early Christians regarded the brace martyrs as heroes, telling the stories to celebrate how God worked in the life of the believers.
Perpetua and Felicity’s story shows that God strengthens and nourishes the faith of Christians in the midst of persecution. The stories of martyrs can inspire and nurture our own faith as we face difficulties in life.
This message is excerpted from “Ultimate price” by Rev. Dr. Joy A. Schroeder in the March 2015 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Perpetua and Felicity and companions, martyrs at Carthage, 202.
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