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In the meantime, here is one ‘saint story’ and prayer starter:
Saints Perpetua and Felicity are among the martyrs commemorated by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass. They are patron saints of mothers and expectant mothers, not to mention ranchers and butchers. Their feast day is celebrated on March 7.
Perpetua was a young, attractive, well-educated noblewoman in the Roman province of Carthage in North Africa, mother of an infant son, and a chronicler of the persecution of the Christians by Emperor Septimius Severus. Perpetua’s mother was a Christian and her father a pagan. He continually beseeched her to reject her faith, but she refused and was imprisoned at 22.
In her diary, Perpetua describes her period of custody: “What a day of horror! Terrible heat, owing to the crowds! Rough treatment by the soldiers! To crown all, I was tormented with anxiety for my baby…. Such anxieties I suffered for many days, but I obtained leave for my baby to remain in the prison with me, and being relieved of my trouble and anxiety for him, I at once recovered my health, and my prison became a palace to me and I would rather have been there than anywhere else.”
Meanwhile, Felicity, a fellow captive Christian and an expectant mother, was in torment. It was against the law for pregnant women to be executed. Even to the persecutors, to kill a child in the womb was shedding innocent and sacred blood. Felicity was afraid that she would not give birth before the day set for their martyrdom and her fellow Christians would go ahead without her. Her friends also didn’t want to leave their teammate behind.
Two days before the execution, Felicity went into labor. The guards made mocked her, saying, “If you think you suffer now, how will stand it when you face the wild beasts?” Felicity answered serenely, “Now I’m the one who is suffering, but in the arena, another will be in me suffering for me because I will be suffering for him.” She gave birth to a healthy girl who was adopted by one of the Christian women of Carthage.
For their refusal to forsake Jesus Christ, Perpetua, Felicity, and three companions were sent to the public games in the amphitheater. There Perpetua and Felicity at first faced a rabid heifer and then were beheaded; the others were killed by bears, leopards, and wild boars.
Prayer Starter: Father, I thank you for the gift of these sisters in Christ, Felicity and Perpetua. Their steadfast devotion to their babies, to each other, and above all to You, inspires me to remember that our Sweet Savior is always nearby, and that His kingdom is our goal. Please, Father, through the merits and prayers of these saints, bless my friendships, bless the ministry of Mary’s Mantle, bless expectant moms and dads everywhere, and help us all to keep our eyes fixed on love….