Friday, April 28, 2023
Vibia Perpetua was a 22-year-old beautiful young wife with a baby. She lived in Carthage, in what is now Tunisia, North Africa. Her father and her family were esteemed in the community. She was also well-educated.
During a time when Roman authorities severely persecuted Christians, Perpetua committed her life to Christ and became a very strong believer. Because of that, she was arrested and thrown into prison where, along with others, she was sentenced to death. Her father and other people pleaded with her to recant, but she absolutely refused.
On March 7, 203 C.E. Perpetua was thrown to wild beasts in the city’s amphitheater. While the excited spectators watched and shouted, wild animals attacked and gored her and tore her dress. Finally, a gladiator thrust his sword into her; and she entered heaven, praising and worshipping God. Her last words were an encouragement to the other believers to stand firm in their faith, to never to give in, and to never let suffering separate them from Christ.
Lord God, thank you for the legacy and memory of Perpetua, this young, courageous saint. I ask you to engrave in our hearts eternal lessons from her life.
O merciful Father, remember our brothers and sisters held by Muslim authorities today because they have put their faith in Christ and refuse to recant or deny him. Give these modern-day saints endurance and boldness as you gave Perpetua. Help them manifest the love and power of Christ during their captivity and declare the Gospel to their captors.
Comfort them, I pray. Soothe their pain. Be with them when they are tortured. May they sense your arms around them when they feel alone and abandoned. Sharpen their minds and memory with verses from your Word that will calm them and alleviate the pain of their souls.
By your Holy Spirit grant them grace to forgive their tormentors. Surprise them with the joy of seeing converts to Christ from among fellow prisoners and prison officials.
The one who remains steadfast till the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22, SAB).