Today I will be writing about another Saints feast day. This one though is venerated by other faiths than just the Catholic Church, including both the Lutheran and Episcopal Churches. This is not the only thing that helps to set this particular day apart, this feast day is for two Saints who died at the same time and together.
In 203 A.D. Vibia Perpetu became a Christian even though the Caesar had declared that no one could become either Christian or a Jew. She was quickly arrested along with four others who had also recently become Christian and was taken to prison but not before they where baptized. She had only recently given birth and was still nursing her baby boy when she was taken so was very distraught at being away from him. Some missionaries where able to bribe their way in and took her mother who in turn took her son. This seemed to have strengthened her spirits. Perpetu’s father also came to visit her while she was in prison to try and persuade her to recant but she rebuked him.
When the five where taken to the judge they were asked to all recant but all stood steadfast even with the additional prompting of Perpetu’s father and even the judge trying to convince her. They were all sentenced to be thrown to wild animals in the arena on the celebration of the day of the Caeser’s birth. This was considered a military exercise and so they were transferred to a military prison to await their fate. While there they showed great faith that is said to have eventually caused the warden to become a Christian.
The two of them are the Patron Saints of Married Women.
Saint Felicity was also one of the five to be thrown to the wild animals but she worried that she would not be able to accompany other four as she was pregnant. She was in her eight month and there was a law that forbade the killing of a pregnant women, but two days before the sentence was to be carried out she gave birth to a health baby girl. The baby was adopted by a Christian women who raised her.
On the day of their execution only four remanded, one had died in prison. The two women were thrown to a wild bull, stripped naked. The crowed showed their disapproval of this and they where taken back, clothed and killed by soldiers.
The thing that I found most interesting about this, other then there being two martyrs woven together is the reason that we have a full account of this story. It is from Saint Perpetu writings that we have this history. Not only does this provide an interesting background to this events but she is the (according to one source I found) first women Christian to whom we have a writings of.
I am trying to be representative of all cultures and religions in my writings, but have not had much time to search for other festivals so there may be a large number of Catholic feast days included for now. If you know of any holidays please send them to holidayaweek AT gmail.com.