Marie-Louise von Franz: Niklaus Von Flüe And Saint Perpetua: A Psychological Interpretation of Their Visions


Life of St Perpetua

197 Where St. Perpetua is concerned, fortunately we are in possession of some facts.

She came of a wealthy family, the Vibii, and at the time of her execution was twenty-two years of age.

Her parents were still living, and her father-who was not a Christian-fought desperately up to the very last in hopes of prevailing upon his daughter to give up her resolve and recant.

195 Perpetua married quite young and had a son, whom she was still nursing and who was brought to her several times in prison.

Strangely enough, her husband is never mentioned.

She had two brothers, one of whom was likewise a catechumen.1

A third brother, Dinocrates, who features in her second and third visions, had died a pagan at the age of seven.

199 Perpetua herself was baptized only twenty days before her death.

She is reported to have said at the time:

200 I was inspired by the Spirit not to ask for any other favor after the [baptismal] water but simply the perseverance [suffering] of the flesh.2  ~Marie-Louise von Franz, Niklaus von Flue and Saint Perpetua, Page 139