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Profiles In Faith

Perpetua (circa 181–203)

High Society Believer & Martyr

We have little idea what brought Perpetua to faith in Christ, or how long she had been a Christian, or how she lived her Christian life. Thanks to her diary, and that of another prisoner, we have some idea of her last days—an ordeal that so impressed the famous Augustine that he preached four sermons about her death.
Perpetua was a Christian noblewoman who, at the turn of the third century, lived with her husband, her son, and her slave, Felicitas, in Carthage (in modern Tunis). At this time, North Africa was the center of a vibrant Christian community. It is no surprise, then, that when Emperor Septimius Severus determined to cripple Christianity (he believed it undermined Roman patriotism), he focused his attention on North Africa. Among the first to be arrested were five new Christians taking classes to prepare for baptism, one of whom was Perpetua...

Mark Galli

Mark Galli, is former editor in chief of Christianity Today and author, most recently, of Karl Barth: An Introductory Biography for Evangelicals. He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and holds an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He was a Presbyterian pastor for ten years, changed his denominational affiliation to the Anglican Church in North America. He converted to Catholicism in 2020.

 

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