When the two days were over, Jesus left for Galilee. Jesus himself said that no prophet is recognized in his own country. Yet the Galileans welcomed him when he arrived, because of all the things which he had done in Jerusalem during the Festival, and which they had seen. For they, too, had gone to the feast.
Jesus went back to Cana of Galilee, where he had changed the water into wine. At Capernaum there was an official, whose son was ill, and when he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked him to come and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
Jesus said, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe!” The official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” And Jesus replied, “Go, your son lives!”
The man had faith in the word that Jesus spoke to him, and went his way. As he was approaching his house, his servants met him, and gave him the good news, “Your son has recovered!” So he asked them at what hour the child began to recover, and they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday, at about one o’clock in the afternoon.” And the father realized that that was the time when Jesus had told him, “Your son lives!” And he became a believer, he and all his family.
Jesus performed this second miraculous sign when he returned from Judea to Galilee.
Today we remember two mothers who together suffered martyrdom for their faith. This drama happened at Carthage in North Africa (present-day Tunisia) on this day in 203.
“Perpetua was a recently baptized, 22-years-old noble woman, with a small child” (The Vatican II Weekday Missal). One can barely imagine what went on in Perpetua’s mind when she realized that she would have to entrust her child to someone else’s care and that she would not live to see her child grow up. The other woman who suffered death with Perpetua (death from the tearing apart of their bodies by wild beasts and then from a final blow of the sword) was Felicity, a slave, who was expecting a child. When Felicity heard the judge condemn her to death, she understood that she would never have the joy of holding her unborn child in her arms, of seeing its face, of hearing its soft gurgles of delight. With shining courage, walking hand in hand, these two women went to their death rather than betray their faith.
The history of the Church is replete with such brave parents. Most of them remain anonymous. But not so in God’s Heaven, where forever they will shine like bright stars.
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