First Catholic Female Author?

4.2.7Saint Perpetua is probably one of the first Catholic Women Authors.

St. Perpetua was a wealthy noblewoman and St. Felicity was her slave.  One had an infant and one was pregnant.  St. Perpetua, while held under house arrest for the crime of being a Christian, wrote the first document by a Catholic Christian Woman author that survives to this day.

St. Perpetua was under a great deal of stress and anxiety from being separated from her baby.  She also suffered a great deal because her father was a pagan who begged her to give in and renounce Jesus Christ to save her life.  A couple of deacons bribed the authorities, who brought her baby, and she lived the rest of her few days in a great deal more peace.

Thanks Communio !

Her father, a pagan, begged her to renounce Jesus Christ and save her life:

‘ “While” says she, “we were still with the persecutors, and my father, for the sake of his affection for me, was persisting in seeking to turn me away, and to cast me down from the faith, – ‘Father,’ said I, ‘do you see, let us say, this vessel lying here to be a little pitcher, or something else?’ And he said, ‘I see it to be so.’ And I replied to him, ‘Can it be called by any other name than what it is?’ And he said, ‘No.’ ‘Neither can I call myself anything else than what I am, a Christian.’ Then my father, provoked at this saying, threw himself upon me, as if he would tear my eyes out. But he only distressed me, and went away overcome by the devil’s arguments. Then, in a few days after I had been without my father, I gave thanks to the Lord; and his absence became a source of consolation8 to me. In that same interval of a few days we were baptized, and to me the Spirit prescribed that in the water of baptism nothing else was to be sought for bodily endurance.9 After a few days we are taken into the dungeon, and I was very much afraid, because I had never felt such darkness. O terrible day! O the fierce heat of the shock of the soldiery, because of the crowds! I was very unusually distressed by my anxiety for my infant. There were present there Tertius and Pomponius, the blessed deacons who ministered to us, and had arranged by means of a gratuity that we might be refreshed by being sent out for a few hours into a pleasanter part of the prison. Then going out of the dungeon, all attended to their own wants.10 I suckled my child, which was now enfeebled with hunger. In my anxiety for it, I addressed my mother and comforted my brother, and commended to their care my son. I was languishing because I had seen them languishing on my account. Such solicitude I suffered for many days, and I obtained for my infant to remain in the dungeon with me; and forthwith I grew strong and was relieved from distress and anxiety about my infant; and the dungeon became to me as it were a palace, so that I preferred being there to being elsewhere.” ‘

Thanks AmyRachelPeterson !

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