Martyr Felicitas of Rome, and her seven sons

The Holy Martyr Felicitas with her Seven Sons, Januarius, Felix, Philip, Silvanus, Alexander, Vitalius and Marcial. Saint 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. Saint Felicitas and her sons were turned over to the Prefect Publius for torture.

Saint 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.

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