The Martyr Felicitas, with Her Seven Martyr Sons

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Troparion of St Felicitas and her seven martyred sons Tone 1
Truly thou art blessed, O holy Felicitas,/ for thou didst never doubt the mercy of Christ our God,/ and in spite of all temptations, with thy seven sons thou didst rejoice/ to return to Him rather than to languish in dishonour on earth./ Wherefore pray for us that we may follow thy example/ for the salvation of our souls.

Kontakion of St Felicitas and her seven martyred sons Tone 2
Unfailing loyalty to Christ was thy virtue,/ O holy Felicitas,/ for despite all threats and torments thou didst inspire thy sons/ to resist all for the salvation of their souls./ Without hesitation thou didst willingly follow them,/ winning the crown of martyrdom./ Wherefore we pray for grace to emulate thine all-praised example.

From the OCA website:

The Holy Martyr Felicitas with her Seven Sons, Januarius, Felix, Philip, Silvanus, Alexander, Vitalius and Marcial. St Felicitas was born of a rich Roman family. She boldly confessed before the emperor and civil authorities that she was a Christian. The pagan priests said that she was insulting the gods by spreading Christianity. St Felicitas and her sons were turned over to the Prefect Publius for torture.

St Felicitas witnessed the suffering of her sons, and prayed to God that they would stand firm and enter the heavenly Kingdom before her. All the sons died as martyrs before the eyes of their mother, who was being tortured herself.

St Felicitas soon followed her sons in martyrdom for Christ. They suffered at Rome about the year 164. St Gregory Dialogus mentions her in his Commentary on the Gospel of St Matthew (Mt.12:47).

From the Prolog of Ochrid

As a Christian, Felicitas was condemned to death along with her seven sons during the reign of Emperor Antoninus in the year 164 A.D. She implored God only that she not to be killed before her sons, so that she might be able to encourage them during their torture and death in order that they would not deny Christ. According to God’s Providence, it so happened. With joy, this superb mother accompanied her sons one by one until she had witnessed the death of all seven sons. Then, she herself, with gratitude to God, received a martyr’s death. She and her sons suffered in Rome where their relics repose.

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