Join our Publishing Director Morgan Farr as she shares From Military Kid to Christian Martyr: The Story of Perpetua.
From Military Kid to Christian Martyr: The Story of Perpetua.
If you are a student of Christian history, then you know that the name Perpetua is synonymous with unwavering faith and courage. Her remarkable story demonstrates the power of faith and holds a special connection to military
life. In this article, we will explore the life and legacy of Perpetua, her connection to the military, and the valuable lessons her story offers to contemporary Christian military women and wives.
Perpetua was born in 181 AD in Carthage (modern-day Tunisia). What makes Perpetua relevant to Christian military women and wives is her association with the Roman military. Her father was a high-ranking Roman army officer, making her a military child. She was a young Christian woman living in a time when the Roman Empire engaged in severe religious persecution.
Early Christian Life
We know that Perpetua was literate and well-educated. Her autobiography is one of the very rare first-person narratives from a woman at the start of the church. According to her own account, Perpetua’s mother was a Christian, but her father worshipped the Roman gods. Perpetua was married young and was the mother of a young child when life took a turn for the worst. We do not hear anything about her husband, so she is largely believed to be a young widow.
Prisoner and Martyr
Perpetua’s life took an tragic turn when local edicts against Christianity started. Despite the risks and societal pressures, she openly embraced Christianity despite being prohibited under Roman law. Eventually, she was arrested
and imprisoned, along with other Christians.
Perpetua’s father strongly encouraged her to renounce her beliefs, but she remained steadfast in her devotion to Christ. Perpetua’s relationship with her military officer father exemplifies what we should strive for in relationships with unbelieving family members. Standing firm in her faith, even in the face of persecution and the potential loss of her family, is an inspiring example for us today. It reminds us that faith can provide the courage needed to navigate the challenges of military life.
Throughout her imprisonment, Perpetua remained steadfast in prayer. Her reliance on God’s strength through prayer offers a valuable lesson for Christian military women and wives. Perpetua’s unwavering faith in Jesus Christ was a source of strength and purpose. She believed in living out her faith with boldness, even in adversity. In times of separation or when facing military deployments, prayer can be a powerful source of comfort and strength. Perpetua ultimately refused to renounce Christ and instead became one the earliest known female martyrs for the name of Christ.
From Military Kid to Christian Martyr: The Story of Perpetua reminds us that with faith in Christ, we can find the strength to persevere through even the most challenging circumstances. Her life and faith serve as a beacon of inspiration for Christian military women and wives. When we face the challenges of military life, we can look to the example of perpetua and know that God has a plan for every story.
Links and Resources
- Why we care about Christian women in military history.
- Read all of our Women of the Word Wednesday posts here.
- The Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas
- Perpetua: An early Christian arrested for refusing to worship Roman deities in North Africa prepares to face the beasts in the arena
- Perpetua High Society Believer