“When my father in his affection for me was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and thus weaken my faith, I said to him, “Do you see this vessel—waterpot or whatever it may be? Can it be called by any other name than what it is?‘ “No,‘ he replied. “So also I cannot call myself by any other name than what I am—a Christian.‘” So writes Perpetua: of Carthage in North Africa. She was a young, beautiful, well-educated noblewoman and mother of an infant son. Perpetua‘s mother was a Christian and her father a pagan. He continually pleaded with her to deny her faith. She refused and was imprisoned at age 22. In her diary, Perpetua describes her period of captivity: “What a day of horror! Terrible heat, rough treatment by the soldiers! To crown all, I was tormented with anxiety for my baby…. Such anxieties I suffered for many days, but I obtained leave for my baby to remain in the prison with me, and being relieved of my trouble and anxiety for him, I at once recovered my health, and my prison became a palace to me and I would rather have been there than anywhere else.” Despite threats of persecution and death, Perpetua, Felicity–a slave woman and expectant mother–and three companions, refused to renounce their Christian faith. For their unwillingness, all were sent to the public games in the amphitheater. There Perpetua and Felicity were beheaded, and the others killed by beasts. Felicity gave birth to a baby girl a few days before her death. Excerpted from from Franciscanmedia.org.