Sunday, March 6, 2011
St. Perpetua and Companions: Martyrs
Perpetua and her companions were martyrs in the third century. The group consisted of Perpetua, a noble woman, Felicitas a slave, Revocatus, another slave, and two freemen, Saturninus and Secundulas. They were catechumens and were later joined by their catechist, Saturis.
Though implored to abandon the faith, the small group was baptized before being imprisoned. Encouraged by dreams and visions the group was offered up to wild animals to be tortured by a boar, a bear and a leopard for the men, and a wild cow for the women. They were severely wounded by the animals, and gave each other the kiss of peace before being killed by the sword. The swordsman assigned to Perpetua was inept and at first only caused her pain. She had to guide the sword to the proper place, and it is said in the Martyrlogy regarding her, that “perchance so great a woman could not else have been slain had she not herself willed it.
Collect: Dear Lord, you gave Perpetua and her companions boldness to confess your name before the rulers of this world, and courage to encourage one another. Grant us boldness to proclaim your name, and help us to always build up one another in the true faith and perseverance in that faith. This we ask through the author of our faith, Yeshuah haMoshiach who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen