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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Two Mothers Who Died for the Faith

I've often heard people complain that there are so few lay women who are saints. But today, the feast of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, we celebrate two Roman martyrs, both mothers, who were killed in the early persecution of the Church (203 A.D.) under Septimus. The courageous women, one a member of the nobility and one a slave were sisters in suffering. They faced wild beasts in the arena, but the crowds called for an end after the two women were thrown by a rabid heifer. They were then executed by having their throats cut. Both left behind infants. Felicity's baby daughter was born only two days before her execution and adopted by a Christian woman. How their motherly hearts must have suffered for their children! And yet, they encouraged others to stand firm in the faith. They are the patrons of mothers separated from their children both by death and other circumstances like war and persecution.

St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, please intercede for all mothers, especially the mothers of aborted children whose separation from their little ones involved cooperating in deliberate murder. Help them to repent and to embrace Perpetua's last admonition to her brother to "stand firm in the faith and love one another." St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, pray for us.

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