“In addition to all this, on the last d…

“In addition to all this, on the last day of the games Blandina was again brought in, with Ponticus, a lad of about fifteen. Each day they had been led in to watch the torturing and were urged to swear by the idols. Furious at their steadfast refusal, they showed no sympathy for the boy’s youth or respect for the woman but subjected them to every torture. Ponticus was heartened by his sister in Christ and bravely endured each horror until he gave up his spirit. Last of all, the blessed Blandina, like a noble mother who had comforted her children and sent them on triumphantly to the king, rejoiced at her own departure as if invited to a wedding feast. After the whips, the beasts, and the gridiron, she was finally put into a net and thrown to a bull. Indifferent to circumstances through faith in Christ, she was tossed by the animal for some time before being sacrificed. The heathen admitted that never before had a woman suffered so much so long.”

An excerpt from a horrifying letter preserved by Eusebius (A.D. 260-339), sent from brethren in Gaul to brethren in Asia Minor during the latter second century, documenting the merciless persecution saints were enduring in what is, today, France. It puts our own troubles in a different perspective, doesn’t it?

#church-history, #eusebius, #persecution