Felicia has the augury of happiness, since that is the significance of her name. The name Felicia is the feminine of Felix, which seems to have been an agnomen assumed by any individual at will when he considered himself unusually fortunate. It appears first in the reign of Herod Agrippa. It means “happy,” and has given rise to all manner of words and names signifying good fortune in modern languages.
There are eleven masculine saints by that name in the Roman calendar, and Felice, the feminine, first appears in Italy, Spain and the south of France. From Felice have come Felicia in England, and Felice in France. There was a Felicia who was queen of Navarre in 1067.
The old Romans had a Goddess of Happiness, whom they called Felicitas. The stave-martyr of Carthage who suffered with St. Perpetua was so-called, and there was another felicitates under Antonius Plus, who, with her seven sons, presented a Christian parallel to the mother in the Maccabees.
Through the votaries of the young slave-martyr, Felicita became popular in Italy, and this same character is responsible for the rise to favor of Felicite in France. Faustina is an Italian form of the same name, but has never had popular favor.