Blandina of Lyons, St.
BLANDINA OF LYONS, ST.
Martyr at Lyons under Marcus Aurelius in 177. She was a young slave arrested with her mistress; she showed extraordinary constancy under torture, repeating again and again, "I am a Christian, and nothing wicked happens among us." She was later tied to a stake in the amphitheater, but the wild beasts did not touch her. On the last day of the games, she and Ponticus, a boy of 15, were brought to witness the tortures of the other Christians. Blandina, the last to be martyred, was put in a net to be tossed by a bull. The pagans confessed that never had they seen a woman suffer so long and so much. Information about Blandina and her companions derives from a Letter of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne quoted at some length by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 5.1). Blandina is usually the first of the 48 martyrs mentioned in the martyrologies. They are included because of the influence Lyons has had on their development.
Feast: June 2.
Bibliography: r. aigrain, Catholicisme 2:77–78. h. platelle, Bibliotheca Sanctorum 3:202. Les Martyrs de Lyon, proceedings of the international colloque of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Lyon, Sept. 20–23, 1977 (Paris 1978).
[m. j. costelloe]