Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

June 2 | Perseverance

Saint Blandina

A.D. 162–177

By the second Friday of January most New Year's resolutions have been abandoned. 

Why? Because making a resolution is easy. But following through on our commitments is far more challenging. There is no virtue in beginning. It is easy. Many start, few finish. This is true in almost everything. 

Saint Blandina persevered to the end, and even though she was a slave by status, she became a giant of the faith.

During the reign of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, rumors circulated about Christians that they committed cannibalism and other heinous acts when they came together. These rumors were the result of slaves being tortured into giving false testimonies about their masters. The Roman authorities, believing the rumors, gave permission for all Christian citizens who did not renounce their faith to be beheaded, and for all Christian slaves to be tortured. 

Blandina was a slave, which meant there was no limit to the torment her Roman captors could inflict on her.

When the local authorities learned of Blandina’s faith, they questioned her under brutal torture. She responded the same way to every question: “I am a Christian, and we commit no wrongdoing.” The torturers eventually became exhausted and had to stop, but Blandina persevered.

Her torturers then brought her to the amphitheater and tied her to a stake, so that crowds could watch her terrible execution. But these spectators saw something they did not expect: Blandina was praying not only for her fellow Christians, but for her executioners themselves.

Then they let wild animals loose in the arena, as was common practice for gladiators to fight. Blandina could only fight with the weapon of prayer, and it seemed to work: The early records state that the beasts did not touch her. Ultimately, her executioners killed her with a gladiator’s sword. 

Saint Blandina persevered to the end. Even if the challenges we face are not as dramatic as hers, we still need the same perseverance to be Catholics in today’s world. We need perseverance every day as we strive to become the best-version-of-ourselves.

Acquiring the virtue of perseverance requires both grace and significant personal effort. You can practice it now, by making a commitment to one thing that will help you become who God made you to be. When things get hard, it’s time to persevere. Don’t look at how far you still have to go, look at how far you have come, and consider how your life would be if you had never found this great path you’re on.

Persevere to the end.


I will persevere to the end.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Young girls

Symbols: A Bull

Feast Day: June 2—Corpus Christi (2024)

Feast Day Shared By: Saints Marcellinus and Peter, and Saint Eugene I

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