The knowledge of Christ’s sufferings strengthened thousands of early martyrs. In Lyons, Gaul (modern France), nearly fifty Christians died in one bloody massacre. From dawn until evening, Blandina [blann-DEE-nah], a handicapped slave, was tortured. Still, she refused to offer incense to [Emperor Marcus Aurelius]. In the arena, Blandina’s tormentors hanged her naked body on a cross. Wild beasts were released to devour the girl, but they did not touch her. Blandina was stripped from the cross and scourged. Still refusing to offer incense, Blandina was thrown on a red-hot grill. Finally, a bull gored her twisted body and tossed her to the ground. There, she died.
As fellow-Christians watched her, “they saw in the form of their sister”–an eyewitness recalled–“him who was crucified for them.” They saw the One who understood their sorrow.
Source: Jones, Timothy Paul. “The Gospels, the Apostles, Then … What? (AD 64-177).” Christian History Made Easy. Rose Publishing Inc: Torrance, CA. 2005. 14. Print.