Perpetua chose to be thrown to the beasts in a colosseum than recant her faith in Christ. At just 22 years of age and with an infant son, it would have been much easier to tell the authorities she had changed her mind about Christianity. Even though she lived around the year 200, we have her story written by her own hand just before her death.


As a noblewoman living in Carthage – a great city in Africa – Perpetua was a recent convert to Christianity. (modern day Tunisia) Her servant Felicity also shared her faith in Christ so both women had to stand before a judge. During this time in history, Christians weren’t under intense persecution. However, it was a capital crime for a Roman citizen to become either a Jew or a Christian.


Perpetua was nursing a baby at the time and Felicity was pregnant. The judge told them to renounce their decision to follow what was considered a silly cult. They both refused.


While in jail awaiting their day in the arena, Perpetua had a dream and wrote it down. In her vision, she saw a man assuring her that she was not alone and instructing her not to be afraid.


After Felicity had delivered her baby, the time came for both women to be part of the festivities that the government used to provide entertainment and instruction to the crowd. The spectacle was to deter others from following in the decisions of the converts.


Perpetua and Felicity determined to go into the amphitheater with joyful faces as if they were going to heaven. They were told to put on costumes (worn by priests to false gods of the day) but refused and eventually were allowed to go without them.


Once in the arena, they sang psalms.  Another Christian who was being chased by a leopard called to them not to let these things confuse them – but confirm them. Both Felicity and Perpetua died for their faith as strong young women who believed the gospel they had recently embraced.


They inspire us toward courage and grit in the face of whatever adversity that comes up against us today!


As you think about your own challenging circumstances – how can you let trials confirm rather than confuse your faith today?