Blandina (d. 177 CE)

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Blandina (d. 177 ce)

Christian martyr and saint. Tortured in the amphitheater at Lyons in 177 ce.

Blandina was a female slave who, during the persecution of the Christians, was brought into the amphitheater at Lyons in 177 to be put to death. Along with Biblis, Pothinus, Maturus, Sanctus, Ponticus, Attalus, and other martyrs, she was hung by her arms to a post; then animals were let into the arena. The crowd waited in happy anticipation for all the martyrs to be devoured. Amazingly, however, the animals did not touch Blandina, nor did they savage Ponticus. Both were saved for the last day of the spectacle and subjected to even more horrors. That day, wrote Eusebius, Blandina "never ceased exhorting her young companion, who died with courage. As for her, after having been flogged, mutilated, and burned, she was wrapped in a net and exposed to a bull, which played with her, tossing her into the air; then, finally, they finished her off with a sword. The pagans swore that never had they seen a woman suffer with such courage." Blandina's feast day is on June 2.

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