St. Felicity of Rome (+165)
Commemorated November 23
St.. Felicity is said to have been a rich and pious Christian widow with seven sons. She was devoted to charitable work and many people were converted to Christianity by her example. Pagan priests were enraged and complained to Emperor Marcus Aurelius. They demanded that St. Felicity and her sons sacrifice to their gods. In the face of please and threats, she and her sons stood firm in their devotion to God. They were brought before four judges, who condemned them to various deaths. The division of the martyrs among the four judges corresponds to the four places of their burials.
St. Felicity prayed to God that she not 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. God answered her prayer. After each execution, St. Felicity was given the chance to recant her faith. She refused to do so and joined her sons in martyrdom. It is said that she died eight times. Once with each of her sons, and finally her own.