The Institute for Christian Formation
Saints Perpetua & Felicity
Feast Day (optional memorial): March 7
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Mosaic of Saint Perpetua
Croatia, Circa 1280
On March 7th the Church celebrates the optional memorial of Saints Perpetua and Felicity. Perpetua was a noblewoman and Felicity was her slave. They were martyred together at Carthage in the year 203 during the persecution of Christians under Septimus Severus.
Perpetua was around twenty-two years of age, and had a young child whom she was still nursing. Felicity was eight months pregnant. The law forbade that a pregnant woman be put to death, but Felicity did not want her martyrdom delayed. She wanted to die with Perpetua and the other Christians with whom she was jailed. She prayed for this, and delivered her child prematurely.
Perpetua and Felicity and their Christian companions were put to death for their Christian faith. To this day we hear their names mentioned in the Roman Canon.
You can read more about Saints Perpetua and Felicity and their martyrdom in Medieval Sourcebook: St.Perpetua: The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity 203 at the Fordham University site.