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St. Pothinus

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Feastday: June 2
Birth: 87
Death: 177

Also called Photinus, leader of a group of Christian martyrs in the city of Lyons, in Roman Gaul, including Alexander, Attalus, Espagathus, Maturus, and Sanctius. Their martyrdom was recorded in an extant and authentic letter sent from the Christian communities of Lyons and Vienne to their brethren in the Roman province of Asia. It is possible that the author of the letter may have been St. Irenaeus. The very graphic letter includes details about the martyrdoms. Pothinus was the ninety year old bishop of the city. With his fellow Christians, he was seized by a mob which brought them before the magistrate for trial on the charge of being Christians. Pothinus died from the cruelties inflicted upon him in the prison, while the others were murdered by wild beasts in the local amphitheater. One of the most famous martyrs in the group was a slave girl named Blandina, who was caught in a net and thrown to her death by a wild bull; another was a boy named Ponticus who was one of the last to die.


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