S+L logo

A Lesson from Carthage

March 7, 2007
Today in the liturgical calendar the Church celebrates the feast of Saints Felicity and Perpetua. These two women were martyred at Carthage, in Northern Africa in 203.
Their names may sound familiar as they’re mentioned in the Roman Canon at Mass. ("For ourselves, too, we ask some share in the fellowship of your apostles and martyrs, with John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatious, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia...")
What’s particularly interesting about their story is that there is a reliable written account of their martyrdom. (which is also available online, click HERE for that)
Felicity and Perpetua, along with other Christians, were led out to the amphitheatre, scourged, attacked by wild animals, and then put to death by the sword. But before the execution, they kissed each other so that they may consummate their martyrdom with the kiss of peace.
Perpetua is also recorded to have encouraged the fellow Christians to: “Stand fast in the faith, and love one another, all of you, and be not offended at my sufferings."
Felicity and Perpetua were brutally put to death -- they remained courageous and steadfast in their faith. As much as their family begged them, as terrifying it must have been to be surrounded by thousands of people crying for their blood -- they would not deny Christ.
I’m afraid that I can’t say the same. In my sin, I deny Christ everyday. I am weak and cannot rely on myself. But that’s the secret to the martyrdom of Saints Felicity and Perpetua. That’s the secret to my life and to your life. On our own, we can do nothing. We need God by our side.
My Lord and my God, without You I am nothing.
Related posts
Feast of the Holy Trinity – Sunday, May 27th, 2018 One of the important dimensions of our Trinitarian God is the community of love and persons modeled for us in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. ...read more
On today’s special edition of Perspectives, Noel Ocol had a chance to sit and chat with young Franciscan Fr. Daniel Horan. ...read more
The Chilean crisis: Lessons on reform and leadership from Pope Francis
Sebastian Gomes talks about and reflects on a new and complex story with far-reaching implications. Read his reflection: 'The Chilean crisis: Lessons on reform and leadership from Pope Francis.' ...read more
Homily of Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Pentecost
Read the full text of Pope Francis' Homily in commemoration of the Solemnity of Pentecost. The Holy Father gives us his thoughts and words on this celebration of new life. ...read more
Transformed By Fire: A Reflection for Pentecost Sunday
Read Kristina Glicksman's Reflection for Pentecost Sunday: Transformed By Fire about the power of the Holy Spirit to change our lives especially during this celebration of life and transformation. ...read more