An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Perpetua and her Companions

(d. c. 202). Catechumen and martyr. Perpetua and her companions Felicitas, Revocatus, Saturninus, Secundulus, and Saturus were Christians imprisoned in Carthage under Emperor Septimius Severus. All of them may have been catechumens. Some accounts indicate that Saturus was their catechist or a priest. Felicitas and Revocatus were slaves. Perpetua was a young woman, about twenty-two, with an infant son. Her father was a pagan who tried to turn her away from Christianity. The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas recalls the trial, prison experiences, visions, and execution of Perpetua and her companions. In addition to recounting their faithful sacrifice, it also provides one of the earliest records of Christian women. Perpetua's prison diary represented the largest portion of this work. Perpetua and her companions were martyred in the arena at Carthage, c. 202. Their martyrdom is commemorated on Mar. 7 in the episcopal calendar of the church year. See Felicitas, or St. Felicity.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.