Both Perpetua and Felicity were martyrs in North Africa. Perpetua kept a diary and we have eye-witnesses providing us with a vivid picture of her death. Perpetua refused to listen to the pleadings of her father and the need of her infant son. Felicity, a slave, was pregnant but gave birth prematurely and so was also executed. Both had been baptized while under arrest; both refused to renounce the faith. After being flogged, the Christians were exposed to wild beasts and then beheaded. May we have some of their courage today.
In today's Gospel, Jesus asks us to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us. He asks, "For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? He tells that our heavenly Father makes the sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. So, we are to love all.
It is easier to say than to do, but Christ showed us how to love one's enemies and gives us the grace to follow his example.