Baptism in the Apostolic & Patristic Period Pre Constantine & Nicaea Era V

Perpetua & Felicitas’ Baptism of Blood/ martyrdom (202)

#18 “Now dawned the day of victory, and they went forth from the prison into the amphitheater as it were into heaven, cheerful and bright of countenance; if they trembled at all, it was for joy, not fear. Perpetua followed behind, glorious of presence, as a true spouse of Christ and darling of God; at whose piercing look all cast down their eyes. Felicity, likewise, rejoicing that she had bourne a child in safety, that she might fight with the beasts, came now from blood to blood, from the midwife to the gladiator, so was after her travail in a second baptism.”[1] Perpetua & Felicity had been previously baptized in prison.[2]

Tertullian (150-200’s) When, however, the prescript is laid down that ‘without baptism, salvation is attainable by none” (chiefly on the ground of that declaration of the Lord, who says, “Unless one be born of water, he hath not life.’” (On Baptism, 12:1, A.D. 203).

Origen (200)    “The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants. For the Apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of divine mysteries, knew that there is in everyone the innate stains of sins, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit.” (Origen, Commentary on Romans, 5:9)

Original sin and baptism of infants. Basil everyone knew traditions handed on by apostles.

Time & space make us capable to discard these things. Didache ritual given with care, articulate, understanding of ritual and order of necessity. Clarity. Blaise passage of time, do not receive them with urgenecy.

Cyprian of Carthage (250) The entire letter is reprinted but the text in question attests to the continuity of thought by the Patristic Fathers of the effects of Baptism. This is told not from an expository view but a personal experience.

But at last I made up my mind to ask for Baptism. I went down into those life-giving waters, and all the stains of my past were washed away.

I committed my life to the Lord. He cleansed my heart and filled me with His Holy Spirit. I was born again, a new man.

And then in a most marvelous way, all my doubts cleared up, I could now see what had been hidden from me before. I found that I could do things that had previously been impossible.

Adults who are baptized of radiance of joy total newness, regeneration, profound. Beauty, visual element at Easter Vigil. Goodness. Also good to baptize inside and outside of season. If training of person coincides with Easter, beauty of that coinciding.

[1] W.H. Shewring trans, The Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felicity (Ignatius Press: San Francisco 2002) 37-38

[2] Shewring, 24

NB A nice biographical summary of Perpetua & Felicity  accessed Feb 1, 2022

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