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Passio 1

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It survives in both Latin and Greek forms, and contains a Passio 1 person prison diary of the young mother and martyr Perpetua. Scholars generally believe that it is authentic although in the form we have it may have been edited by others.

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The text also appears to contain, in his own words, the accounts of the visions Passio 1 Saturus, another Christian martyred with Perpetua. An editor who states he was an eyewitness has added accounts of the martyrs' suffering and deaths.

It was catalogued by the Bollandists as BHL — Perpetua and Felicity believed to have died in AD were Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Vibia Perpetua was a married noblewomansaid to have been 22 years old at the time of her death, and mother of an infant she was nursing.

Felicity, a slave imprisoned with her and Passio 1 at the time, was martyred with her.

They were Passio 1 to death along with others at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. According to the passion narrative, a slave named Revocatus, his fellow slave Felicitas, the two free men Saturninus and Secundulus, and Perpetua, who were catechumensthat is, Christians being instructed in the faith but not yet baptized, were arrested and executed at the military games in celebration of the Emperor Septimius Severus 's birthday. To this group was added a man named Saturus, who voluntarily went before the magistrate and proclaimed himself a Christian.

The traditional view has been that Perpetua, Felicity and the others were martyred owing to a decree of Roman emperor Septimius Severus — This is based on a reference to a decree he is said to have issued forbidding Passio 1 to Judaism and Christianity but this decree is known only from one source, the Augustan Historyan unreliable mix of fact and fiction. The details of the martyrdoms survive in both Latin and Greek texts see below.

Perpetua's account of events leading to their deaths, apparently historical, is written in the first person. A brief introduction by the editor chapters i—ii is followed by the narrative and visions of Perpetua iii—ixand the vision of Saturus xi—xiii. The account Passio 1 their deaths, written by the editor who claims to be an eyewitness, is included at the end xiv—xxi.

Perpetua's account opens with conflict between her and her father, who wishes her to recant her belief. After the guards are bribed, she is allowed to move to a better portion of Passio 1 prison, where she nurses her child and gives its charge to her mother and brother iiiand the child is able to stay in prison with her for the time being Passio 1.

At the encouragement of her brother, Perpetua asks for and receives a vision, in which she climbs a dangerous ladder to which various weapons are attached iv. At the foot of a ladder is a serpent, which is faced first by Saturus and later by Perpetua iv.

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The serpent does not harm her, and she ascends to a garden iv. At the conclusion of her dream, Perpetua realizes that the martyrs will suffer iv. Perpetua's father visits her in prison and pleads with her, but Perpetua remains steadfast in her faith v. She is brought to a hearing before the governor Hilarianus and the martyrs confess their Christian faith vi.

In a second vision, Perpetua sees her brother Dinocrates, who had died unbaptized from cancer at the early age of seven vii. She prayed for him and later had a Passio 1 of him happy and healthy, his facial disfigurement reduced to a scar viii.

Perpetua's father again visits the prison, and Pudens the warden shows the martyrs' honor ix. The day before her martyrdom, Perpetua envisions herself defeating a savage Passio 1 and interprets this to mean that she would have to do battle not merely with wild beasts but with the Devil himself x. Saturus, who is also said to have recorded his own vision, sees himself and Perpetua transported eastward by four angels to a beautiful garden, where they meet Jocundus, Passio 1, Hinda, Artaiusand Dennis Quinntus, four other Christians who are burnt alive during the same persecution xi—xii.

He also sees Bishop Optatus of Carthage and the priest Aspasius, who beseech the martyrs to reconcile the conflicts between them xiii. As the editor resumes the story, Secundulus is said to have died in prison xiv.

The slave Felicitas gives birth to a daughter despite her initial concern that she would not be permitted to suffer Passio 1 with the others, since the law forbade the execution of pregnant women xv. On the day of the games, the martyrs are led into the amphitheatre xviii. At the demand of the crowd they were first scourged before a line of gladiators; then a boar, a bear, and a leopard were Passio 1 on the men, and a wild cow on Passio 1 women xix.

Wounded by the wild animals, they gave each other the kiss of peace and were then put to the sword xix. Passio 1 text describes Perpetua's death as follows; "But Perpetua, that she might have some taste of pain, was pierced between the bones and shrieked out; and when the swordsman's hand wandered still for he Passio 1 a noviceherself set it upon her own neck.

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Perchance so great a woman could not else have been slain Passio 1 feared of the unclean spirit had she not herself so willed it" xix. The text ends as the editor extols the acts of the martyrs. It should still be acknowledged that the style could have been crafted to give the impression of a female martyr's diary. Although some Passio 1 suggested that the editor of the text is Tertullianthe editor's identity remains uncertain.

Many scholars have examined the male modification and transmission of a female martyrdom story that challenged power dynamics and gender hierarchies within the organized church.

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Brent Shaw argues that the editor of the story rewrites Perpetua's experience in such a way that affirms the technical value of her martyrdom while simultaneously presenting her actions as unnatural. Others argue that Felicity may have been the initial source for the dream, an attribution changed by the editor in order to circumvent Passio 1 problematic implications of a female slave who can receive visions.

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The date of Passio 1 martyrdom is traditionally given Passio 1 AD. The association of the martyrdom with a birthday festival of the Emperor Getahowever, might seem Passio 1 place it afterwhen Geta was made "Augustus" having held the junior title Caesar since when his elder brother had been made "Augustus"though beforewhen he was assassinated.

The Acta notes that the martyrdom occurred in the year when Passio 1 Timinianus was proconsul in the Roman province of Africabut Timinianus is not otherwise attested in history. In the Passion, Christian faith motivates the martyrs to reject family loyalties and acknowledge a higher authority. In becoming a martyr, Perpetua failed to conform to society's expectations. Although the narrator does describe Perpetua as "honorably married", no husband appears in the text. Perpetua belonged to an aristocratic family with Roman citizenship, as indicated by her name Vibia Perpetua.

The movement was founded by Montanus ; a recent convert to Christianity, said by early church father Saint Jerome to have been previously a priest of Cybele, [30] who had shared his heretical ideas with followers.

The group emphasized a belief in the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit visible in the prophetic words of Christians. Perpetua and Saturus had received new dreams and prophesies within the text in accordance with the beliefs and tenets of Montanism. Opponents of the new prophecy accused its members of having avoided martyrdom, which makes the identification of the Passion text as Montanist less likely.

The editor's additions may be an attempt to validate Montanist beliefs, praising prophecy and visionary gifts from the spirit. The editor also asserts the Passio 1 of acknowledging and honoring both "new prophecies" and "new visions" i. Timothy David Barnes, in his "Tertullian: Passio 1 Historical and Literal Study"Oxford University Pressinitially defended the Montanist tone of the "Passion" as well as of the martyrs themselves.

In his second editionhe retracted this opinion, concluding that "[t]he attempt to show that the martyrs, as well as the 'Passion,' are Montanist must be pronounced unconvincing. In Carthage a magnificent basilica was afterwards erected over the tomb of the martyrs, the Basilica Maiorum, where an ancient Passio 1 bearing the names of Perpetua and Felicitas has been found. Saints Felicitas and Perpetua in that order are among the seven women and eight men commemorated by name in the list of ancient martyrs from the second part of the Canon of the Mass.

Passio 1 Blessed Virgin Mary is commemorated in the first part. The feast day of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas, 7 March, was celebrated even outside Africaand is entered in the Philocalian Calendarthe 4th-century calendar of martyrs venerated publicly at Rome. When Saint Thomas Aquinas 's feast was inserted into the Roman calendar, for celebration on the same day, the two African saints were thenceforth only commemorated.

This was the situation in the Tridentine Calendar established by Pope Pius Vand remained so until the yearwhen Pope Pius X brought the date for celebrating them forward to 6 March. Other Churches, including the Lutheran Church and the Episcopal Churchcommemorate these two martyrs on 7 March, never having altered the date to 6 March.


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