Woman guides killer’s sword to throat: Story of St. Perpetua

4 07 2013


In the year 202, Emperor Severus issued an anti-Christian law forbidding anyone to be baptized and become a Christian in the city of Rome. A twenty-two-year-old noble woman whose name was Perpetua  had become a Christian and was arrested along with four others. All were tried and sentenced to be thrown to the wild beasts in the amphitheater during a national holiday. Their deaths would be scheduled along with sports events and various games. Perpetua’s father, a wealthy pagan, pleaded with her to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods so she could be free, but she refused. She said, “Father do you see this water jar, or whatever it is, standing here? Could one call it by any other name than what it is? Well, in the same way I cannot be called by any other name than what I am—a Christian.”

On the day of the games, Perpetua and her companions were led into the amphitheater. At the demand of the crowd they were first scourged before a line of gladiators; Then a wild cow was let loose on the women. The cow tossed Perpetua with it’s horn and she fell on her back, her side torn open and blood and intestine poured out, yet managing to sit up she pulled down her skirt ripped along the side to cover her thighs, lest she offends God by her immodesty.

And seeing that Perpetua had been crushed to the ground, the mob asked to have her throat cut. A gladiator who approached with a sword was  horrified at the sight of such a delicate young woman and could not position the sword because his hands were trembling. But Perpetua reached out and took the tip of trembling sword of the gladiator and guided it to her throat.

The Holy men and women of the first christian century shed their glorious blood for the Lord. They loved Christ in their life, they imitated him in their death and therefore were crowned in triumph

The souls of the Saints are rejoicing in heaven, the Saints who followed the footsteps of Christ, and since for love of him they shed their blood, they now exult  with Christ forever.

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