‘They are merry martyrs. “Thanks be to God”, said Perpetua, as she approached her martyrdom, “that I was merry in the flesh so am I still merrier here”. It’s reminiscent of our own Thomas More’s passing up Tower Hill to the place of his martyrdom, as merry as a bridegroom on the way to his wedding (so people reported). Felicity was so relieved that her daughter was born in prison and immediately adopted by a Christian: she had feared that as a consequence of her pregnancy she would be spared and lose the martyr’s crown.
Is it conceivable that sane young women, looking forward to motherhood, would die in such a spirit? It is conceivable to those for whom revelation sets forth the banquet of salvation, surpassing all other joys and endless in its festivity. We are the ones who should be pitied if we cannot make head or tail of their priorities’.
- Fr Aidan Nichols OP
O holy God, who gavest great courage to Saints Perpetua, Felicitas and their Companions: grant that, through their prayers, we may be worthy to climb the ladder of sacrifice, and be received into the garden of peace; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal
Fr Lee Kenyon