After the consecration the priest will often mention the names of these women.
When a priest chooses Eucharistic Prayer I (also known as the “Roman Canon”), he has the option of reciting a short list of saints before and after saying the sacred words of consecration. It is an ancient list, one that has changed little throughout the centuries.
The first list highlights the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, the 12 apostles and 12 other saints of the early Church. Then after the consecration, the priest will recite another list of 15 saints, including 7 women.
Who are these women that the Church chose to mention in the Mass, which is often called the “the source and summit of the Christian life”?
St. Felicity – A young and pregnant slave girl of the 2nd century, Felicity was persecuted by the Romans for her Christian faith and sentenced to death with St. Perpetua in the amphitheater at the public games.
St. Perpetua – Perpetua was a noblewoman of Carthage and was thrown into the same prison as Felicity for refusing to deny her Christian faith. She chronicled her experience in a diary up until the day of her death. This account was highly popular for many centuries after her death.
St. Agatha (of Sicily) – A young girl who chose Jesus for her spouse at a young age, Agatha was accused of being Christian in the 3rd century and put into prison. She survived several rounds of torture until she finally died. She was highly venerated in the Early Church and her intercession was believed to have protected an Italian city from a volcano one year after her death.