Monday, March 5, 2012

The Martyrdom of St Perpetua and Felicity

Historical approach:
Coming from the East, Christianity spread among the Jewish community that had settled in the coast since the diaspora especially in Carthage and Djerba. This new faith found in Africa a propitious land. In fact the conception of a unique and transcendent God was the result of the cult of Baal Hammoun in the pre-Roman era.
First the Roman authorities tolerated the new faith but the new Christian showed that they threat the unity of Rome after denying the official cult of the triad, the official cult of the empire.
The Scillitans(twelve in all—seven men and five women. Their names are Speratus, Nartzalus, Cintinus (Cittinus), Veturius, Felix, Aquilinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Vestia, Donata, and Secunda) were the first martyrs executed in the amphitheatre of Carthage in 180. Tertullain had written that they were the first martyr in Africa pro-consularis.
The execution of the 12 Scillitans

The martyrdom of  Saint Peroetua and Felicitas:
(died 7 March 203) are Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Perpetua (born in 181) was a 22-year old married noble, and a nursing mother. Her co-martyr Felicity, an expectant mother, was her slave. They suffered together at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.
The Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is said to preserve the actual words of the martyrs and their friends. According to this Passion, in the year 203, during the persecutions of the emperor Septimius Severus, five catechumens, among whom Perpetua and Felicity, were arrested for their faith and executed

The chapel of St  Perpetua Carthage 1903