Second Breakfast: VII

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Another day, while we were at dinner, we were suddenly taken away to be heard, and we arrived at the town-hall. At once the rumour spread through the neighbourhood of the public place, and an immense number of people were gathered together. We mount the platform. The rest were interrogated, and confessed. Then they came to me, and my father immediately appeared with my boy, and withdrew me from the step, and said in a supplicating tone, ‘Have pity on your babe.’ And Hilarianus the procurator, who had just received the power of life and death in the place of the proconsul Minucius Timinianus, who was deceased, said, ‘Spare the grey hairs of your father, spare the infancy of your boy, offer sacrifice for the well-being of the emperors.’ And I replied, ‘I will not do so.’ Hilarianus said, ‘Are you a Christian?’ And I replied, ‘I am a Christian.’

-Perpetua and Felicitas, The Passion of the Holy Martyrs

Perpetua and Felicity (believed to have died 203 AD) are Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Perpetua was a nursing mother, and 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 account of her arrest and imprisonment.

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