07 March 2011

Commemoration of Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas

Today our Synod rejoices to commemorate Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas, holy martyrs for Christ:

At the beginning of the third century, the Roman emperor Septimus Severus forbade conversions to Christianity. Among those disobeying that edict were Perpetua, a young noblewoman, and her maidservant Felicitas. Both were jailed at Carthage in North Africa along with three fellow Christians. During their imprisonment, Perpetua and Felicitas witnessed to their faith with such conviction that the officer in charge became a follower of Jesus. After making arrangements for the well-being of their children, Perpetua and Felicitas were executed on March 7, 203. Tradition holds that Perpetua showed mercy to her captors by falling on a sword because they could not bear to put her to death. The story of this martyrdom has been told ever since as an encouragement to persecuted Christians.

O God and Ruler over all our foes of body and soul, You strengthened Your servants Perpetua and Felicitas, giving them a confident and clear confession in the face of roaring beasts.  Grant that we who remember their faithful martyrdom may share in their blessed assurance of victory over all earthly and spiritual enemies and hold fast to the promise of everlasting life secured for us through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever!  (Treasury, p. 1268)

A noble army, men and boys,
The matron and the maid,
Around the Savior's throne rejoice,
In robes of light arrayed.
They climbed the steep ascent of heav'n,
Through peril, toil, and pain.
O God, to us may grace be giv'n
To follow in their train!
LSB 661:4


Anonymous said...

Saints Perpetua and Felicity, martyrs
March 7

Naught can come between us
And the love of Christ--
Even persecution
When the soul is priced;
For Your sake, in slaughter
Foes may seek to kill
All those who are faithful
To Your holy will.

In the jails of Carthage
Were these women brave
Taken for their witness
That the Christ can save!
Through the foeman’s torture,
Through the circus shame,
In strength, they professed You,
Praised Your holy Name.

Father of all wisdom,
Hear our song today!
Christ, the strength of martyrs,
Hear us as we pray!
Giver of all bounties,
Holy Spirit blest,
Receive our thanksgiving
For these saints at rest!

suggested tune:
King’s Weston

J. Michael Thompson
(c) 2010, World Library Publications

Jeremy Loesch said...

Very appropriate considering that March 8 is International Day of the Woman, or Women's Day. I saw that in TDP and passed it on to the people.