Today, we have a guest post about St. Felicity as a part of the "40 days of Saints" series from Stacy who blogs over at Catholic and Crunchy! For more info about Stacy, read her mini bio at the bottom of this post and check out her blog!
---If you don't feel this way about your own confirmation, I bet you have heard it said: "I didn't pick my saint; my saint picked me". For any non-Catholic readers, the sacrament of confirmation is when a Catholic person receives the Holy Spirit. It generally happens around 9th or 10th grade, though in some rites it happens in infancy. During the confirmation process, you are asked to choose a saint whose name you will take when you become confirmed. When the bishop confirms you, he doesn't call you by your birth name, but by your saint's name. If you already have a saint's name (like my husband, Steven), you can use that one if you choose. When I was going through confirmation, the saints were relatively new to me. I didn't know much about them, and it started a frenzy of wanting to know more. I ended up getting a subscription in high school to a saint information card collection. Each month they'd send a few of these big information cards that I would collect in a binder. I would like to say that, through learning more about the saints, I chose one that I felt would guide me and that I could relate to.
Nope, not how it happened. Remember the late 90's tv show Felicity? Yes, I'm sure you can see where this is headed. Though I swore up and down that this was not the reason, I chose the name Felicity because I knew it from that show and thought it was sooo pretty (still do!). Thankfully, our confirmation teachers required us to write a paper and do a presentation on our chosen saint. Had they not done that, I might not have known anything about St. Felicity, besides the fact that someone with awesome curly hair who went and cut it all short and dramatic looking on the WB and who I really wanted to be with Noel and not Ben, shared the same name.
One of my favorite images of saints Perpetua and Felicity:I learned that she was the co-martyr of Perpetua, which one of my friends chose as her saint. Each year on our shared feast day, we send each other a little facebook message. Felicty was the slave of Perpetua and was an expectant mother. She was arrested and imprisoned for her faith, and was afraid she would not be able to stand up for her faith because game rules stated that pregnant women could not participate. A few days before the games, she gave birth while the prison guards taunted and tormented her. Her daughter is believed to have been given up and raised by a Christian. She stood by her faith in the games, though the crowd became upset as it was obvious she had just given birth. Instead of being killed by the wild animals, she had her throat cut open. She executed in the games for not renouncing her Christian faith. There are other stories of her having 7 sons, all of whom were martyred for their faith as well. Now initially I thought, "how could you go to your death, knowing you have a days old daughter who needs you?". And then, the more I think about it, I hope and pray that I could be that brave and faithful as to stand up for my faith if I was put to a similar test. I certainly hope I would not renounce my faith for any reason.
But back to St. Felicity choosing me. So years later, after I had let my faith go stale and then a new interest was sparked, I thought about the fact that I had chosen St. Felicity, felt silly for the reasoning, and then wished I could have a 'do over'. I knew she was the patron saint of a few different things, including against death of children, against sterility, martyrs, male children, and widows. I didn't really know how that applied to me and thought it would be cool if I had a saint I felt I could relate to. But then in January of 2010, I was diagnosed with PCOS and told I would probably have trouble conceiving. And then in January of this year, my doctor told me that I am technically infertile and will need medical help conceiving. I don't call it irony that I chose a patron saint of infertility all those years ago when I could have no clue that it would be a battle I would one day face myself. Since 2010, I have had a very strong feeling that St. Felicity chose me, because she knew I would need her intercession, her faith, and her strength. And knowing that I have the intercession and communion of saints in heaven, I have a lot of hope and I am able to look past a medical label and know that our family will one day be what it is meant to be.
Stacy is a mid 20's Catholic newlywed who blogs about
almost everything, including faith, health, and learning
to be crunchy. Feel free to drop by Catholic and Crunchy
to say hello!