Perpetua was a young mother who had recently given birth to a son.The dark cell forced upon her as her uncomfortable residence, combined with the savagery of the prison guards, must have thrown her into misery.
What gives to us the power -- what adds to what is naturally possible for the human person -- necessary to face our own death with great courage and determination as did Sts. In order to accomplish such a feat, we need something that will elevate our human nature and therefore enable us to achieve that which was formerly beyond our capability.Imprisoned and sentenced to death by wild beasts at Carthage during the persecution of Septimus Severus, Sts.Perpetua and her slave Felicity, along with three of their companions, perhaps endured their greatest torments in the days preceding their martyrdom.Further, who can imagine the indescribable pain inflicted upon a mother's heart at the thought of leaving her young child behind? ." Ordered to the gate called Sanavivaria, Perpetua was welcomed there "by a catechumen named Rusticus.
Also, Felicity was pregnant at the time, and gave birth to her daughter -- later adopted by a Christian woman -- only two days prior to her martyrdom. She got up and, seeing that Felicity was prostrate, went over and reached out her hand to her and lifted her up. Rousing herself as if from sleep (so deeply had she been in spiritual ecstasy), she began to look around.Let us beg for an increase in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and then rely on them in hope; let us live according to the Spirit's tender and compassionate love; and let us forever keep our eyes fixed on Christ and the wondrous salvific plans of the Father.