Sunday, March 7, 2010

Perpetua and Felicitas, Martyrs

Third Sunday in Lent
Commemoration of Perpetua and Felicitas, Martyrs
March 7, 2010

The Lord be with you

At the beginning of the third century, the Roman emperor Septimus Severus forbade conversion to Christianity. Among those disobeying that edict were Perpetua, a young noblewoman, and her maidservant Felicitas. Both were jailed at Carthage in North Africa along with three fellow Christians. During their imprisonment, Perpetua and Felicitas witnessed to their faith with such conviction that the officer in charge became a follower of Jesus. After making arrangements for the well-being of their children, Perpetua and Felicitas were executed on March 7, 203. Tradition (Tertullian, 160-230) holds that Perpetua showed mercy to her captors by falling on a sword because they could not bear to put her to death. The story of this martyrdom has been told ever since as an encouragement to persecuted Christians.

Blessings in Christ
Pastor John Rickert

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