Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Perpetua and Felicitas: Faith and Devotion

Most of the readings from this class have been more analytical in that they examine some of the findings of certain people who did specific research.  However, this week’s article was particularly interesting as it tells the tale of these two Christian martyrs, Perpetua and Felicitas.  This is a departure from the studies that this class has been going over since it portrays their faith and devotion to what they truly believed in.

Perpetua and Felicitas were brave women who stood up for their faiths and accepted death as martyrs until the end.  When I read their stories, I was completely shocked at how they were willing to sacrifice their lives for their faiths in Christianity.  For me, it sounded a bit like their devotion to their Christian faith was very strong in their sense.  They refused to lie to Roman authorities or pay tribute to their pagan gods because they thought that it went against God’s Will, which was at the heart of their beliefs.  To be able to give up your life for what you believed in is often difficult because such dedication at that final moment can be frightening to think about.

What seemed also shocking were the sacrifices they took for their children who were recently born.  They wanted to make sure that their babies were taken care of since they could not do so when they were very close to their death sentence.  It is always hard to give away your child when you have barely known them and you know that you will never see them again.  This was true sacrifice in giving up their loved ones in order for them to be truly happy in their own life and then not being able to be a part of their lives.

Overall, this article was very intriguing from the faiths and devotions that these women displayed for others to see.  Their deaths symbolized the sacrifices they had made for their children and their beliefs.  It really touches the heart of the readers as they read this tragic story of these courageous women.


  1. I’d like to start by saying that I like the way you approached this blog post. This wasn’t really an easy topic to blog on, but you did a good job.

    Your opening statement about this piece of text being different than all the others was interesting; because its true. All the other posts had something to do with a certain person, or persons’, research, and how they came to it, but this was different. It told the story of two brave women who fought for what they believed in. That alone intrigued me.

    It makes me wonder how they could have so much courage and determination, to stand up for their beliefs, and literally not let anything take that away. You mentioned a bit about the sacrifices that they had to make in order to keep their loved ones safe. I found this interesting more than anything else, because it shows that they were willing to do anything for the sake of their family. Giving away children to somebody else is hard, and its even harder knowing that you will never see them again.

    Great Post!!
    – Ray Baig

  2. I also like the way you introduced the topic and agree that the text cannot be interpreted in the same analytical way that we are accustomed to interpret other text from the course. I still am having trouble leveling with both Perpetua and Felicitas and what they took upon as their duty in the eyes on God. People should have strong convictions, but to a point that they would give their life for that conviction? Religion holds a different meaning to everyone and no meaning at all to others, but I still believe that it should only be upon the individual’s practice and in the time of Perpetua and Felicitas there was no separation and it costs them their life. -CC

  3. As a student without religion I see how this can be shocking to some but the history of most religions are not the brightest. Religion has started many wars and caused many deaths. The reading was very interesting I must agree, but shocked is not a term that I would use pertaining to the the actions of those who follow religions in such a way. The stories are very sad and meaningful describing hardships with impending death. I cannot comprehend the passion and faith they had it for the religion and because of this I am not the most competent person to comment on such topics. I believe in things that are almost against religion like for example eugenics. Eugenics is the implementation of a system in society is that would mean a person would have to reach certain standards to reproduce. I believe that would benefit society with only at the the best and brightest being able to reproduce even though that would mean I could not reproduce because of my learning difficulties. These women believed in their god so much that they defied the higher powers of their society by taking their own lives.

  4. Most help articles on the web are inaccurate or inoerchent. Not this!

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