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Spectacle and torture: Blandina 177


Spectacle and torture: Blandina 177

Spectacle and torture: Blandina 177

Blandina was a young slave girl, among the many Christians brought before the Roman governor of Gaul during an upsurge in persecution in the region around Vienne and Lyons in 177.

Blandina displayed remarkable physical and spiritual strength as she endured a succession of horrendous tortures and while many of the others taken captive died in prison, she survived. But her ordeal was not over. She was thrown to wild animals in a special public exhibition before being hung on a stake and offered as food to the beasts that were let loose.

When they would not touch her, Blandina was taken down and returned to jail. She was finally put to death on the last day of the public exhibition, having been brought in each day to watch the torturing of others and urged to swear by the idols –  which she refused. Blandina was bound up in a net and thrown to a wild bull.

Those who had witnessed her treatment said that they had never seen a woman suffer so much for so long. Throughout her ordeal, she had been an inspiration to her fellow Christians, and the courage displayed by Blandina and her fellow martyrs inspired others to confess Christ, for which they also were put to death.

Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyrs triumphed over suffering and despised death; grant we beseech thee, that, enduring hardness and waxing valiant in fight, we may receive with them the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

First published in Heroes of Our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo, Isaac Publishing