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Ss. Perpetua & Felicitas

Saints Perpetua & Felicity

Martyrs

Perpetua was a young Roman noblewoman with an infant son, who was arrested along with four fellow catechumens: the pregnant slave-girl Felicitas, another slave named Revocatus, and two freemen named Saturninus and Secundulus. Another man named Saturus voluntarily joined them. After their arrest they were baptized, and two deacons bribed the guards to allow Perpetua to nurse her son one last time. Perpetua resisted the attempts of her pagan father to sway her from the faith, and both she and Saturus left accounts of their imprisonment and the visions they received. An eyewitness relates that Felicitas bore her infant daughter, who would be raised by another Christian woman, just days before the prisoners were martyred in the arena on March 7th, in the year of Our Lord 203. Some were killed by the beasts, while others died by the sword afterwards; their witness led to many conversions. When the traditional feast of St. Thomas Aquinas on March 7th grew to overshadow the older feast, Pope St. Pius X allowed Perpetua and Felicitas to be anticipated on March 6th.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 6th

THE feast of the holy martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas, who received the glorious crown of martyrdom on the 7th of this month.

At Nicomedia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Victor and Victorinus, who were, with Claudian and his wife Bassa, subjected to many torments during three years and were then thrust into prison, where they ended the pilgrimage of life.

At Tortona, St. Marcian, bishop and martyr, who received the crown of immortality by being killed under Trajan for the glory of Christ.

At Constantinople, St. Evagrius, who was elected bishop by the Catholics in the reign of Valens, and being exiled by that emperor, departed for heaven.

In Cyprus, in the time of the emperor Decius, St. Conon, martyr, who, being compelled to run before a chariot with his feet pierced with nails, fell on his knees, and breathing a prayer expired.

Also, the passion of forty-two holy martyrs, who were arrested in Amorium, and taken to Syria, where they received the palm of martyrdom after a valiant combat.

At Bologna, St. Basil, bishop, who was consecrated by pope St. Sylvester, and by word and example governed with great holiness the church entrusted to his care.

At Barcelona, in Spain, blessed Ollegarius, who was first a canon, and afterwards bishop of Barcelona and archbishop of Tarragona.

At Ghent, in Flanders, St. Colette, virgin, who at first professed the rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, and afterwards, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, restored the primitive discipline in a great number of monasteries of Nuns of the Second Order. As she was adorned with heavenly virtues, and performed innumerable miracles, she was inscribed on the list of the Saints by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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