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Strength

February 23

February 23

Feast of St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr  (D. 155)

Leave me as I am. The one who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me strength to stay quite still on the pyre, even without the precaution of your nails.

                                                            --St. Polycarp at his martyrdom

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For Mother’s Day : A Martyrdom of Love

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In January this year I sat in my kitchen early one morning, bleary-eyed after a fractured night’s sleep. (And I’m using the term “sleep” quite loosely.)  The former night’s guilty parties, ages 2 and 5, lounged – in varied stages of consciousness themselves – on the couch, while I clutched a mug of coffee and scrolled through the day’s news stories.  Suddenly I was wide awake, as I came upon the headlines of several Catholic sites: “Pope says Motherhood is Martyrdom.”  Whoa.

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Women of Grace: The Courageous Legacy of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity died on March 7, 203

The annals of the Church are full of examples of courageous Catholic women, but few can rival the tale of a young nursing mother and a pregnant woman who showed such fierce courage in the face of death that even the hardest Roman soldiers were brought to their knees.

The story of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, whose feast we celebrate today, was recorded by the hand of Perpetua herself as well as others who knew the women. This account, known as "The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity," was so popular in the early centuries that it was often read during liturgies.

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