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Sts. Perpetua and Felicity - Thrown to the Cows After Giving BirthIn one of the earliest pieces of writing by a Christian woman, Perpetua narrated her account of her martyrdom in 203. It wasn't very funny. The twenty-two year old had been raised by a wealthy Pagan father and was married with a son. Perpetua accomplished quite a bit for a woman at that age, actually.
So, against her father's will, she converted to Christianity, even knowing her decision would lead to her death. So, she was separated from her child and imprisoned in an overcrowded and dark prison -- which goes to show that when acting out rebellion as a young woman, you should probably pick your battles.
Perpetua's slave Felicity, who was eight months pregnant (who she just had to have because if everyone else at school had a slave, she had to have one too) was also held captive.
There's nothing more useful than a pregnant slave.
Roman law forbade the execution of pregnant women, because c'mon, they weren't monsters -- they would plan it so that she would be executed the day after giving birth.
On the day of the execution, the women were thrown naked into an arena with a wild cow -- and yes, a wild cow is the best they could do at the time.
The crowd feasted in honor of Caesar's birthday because executions are just the perfect occasion for a family picnic
The jeering and up-until-now-unsympathetic crowd took pity on the two women because they saw that that one of them had just given birth. And in an act that epitomizes human compassion, the crowd decided to let them be clothed and to just have their throats cut instead. Why the crowd weren't also made Saints is an absolute mystery.<< PREV 1 of 8 NEXT >>
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