March 2021 Letter

Martyrs for the Faith

 

During the Season of Lent, we remember those who died for their faith in Jesus Christ in the face of persecution. The first Christian martyred for his faith in Jesus was Stephen, which is recorded in Acts 7:54-60. On March 7th in the Church calendar year, the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas are commemorated.

 

At the beginning of the 3rd century AD, the Roman emperor Septimus Severus outlawed conversions to Christianity. Among those disobeying his edict were Perpetua, a young noblewoman, and her maidservant named Felicitas. Both were jailed in Carthage in North Africa along with three fellow Christians. During their imprisonment, Perpetua and Felicitas witnessed their faith in Christ with such conviction that the officer in charge of the prison became a follower of Jesus.

 

After making arrangements for the well-being of their children, Perpetua and Felicitas were executed on March 7, 203 AD. 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.

 

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose grace and power Your holy martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas triumphed over suffering and remained ever faithful unto death, grant us, who now remember them with thanksgiving, to be so true in our witness to You in this world that we may receive with their new eyes without tears and the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

March Blessings!

 

Pastor David A. Feddern