As I have mentioned before, I make mantillas. No mantilla is complete, however, without attaching to it the name of a female saint from Catholic Christian history.
You may think this rather odd. I do not and I'll tell you why.
Take Saint Blandina, for example. St. Blandina was a slave who lived in the second century, under the rule of Marcus Aurelius. In 177 AD, she and her master, also a Christian, were caught with fellow Christians, imprisoned and eventually put to death.
Although considered frail, Saint Blandina, was the last to die. She sustained hours upon hours of torture to the point of exhausting her torturors. In the end, Blandina was scourged, burned with red hot grates and placed in a net to be tossed around by wild steers in an amphitheatre.
In fact, the tortures Saint Blandina was subject to could easily be considered by today's standards, under the terms of the Hague, a crime against humanity. Marcus Aurelius would surely have been tried and found guilty.
As horrific as St. Blandina's death was, we must acknowledge that in the 21st century, little has changed in some parts of the world. Christians are still being put to death. Christians are still hated. Nowadays, even the media looks for every opportunity to belittle those who believe in Jesus Christ and all that he represents and in Holy Mother Church.
By telling the stories of the saints I hope to remind everyone that our Christian faith was built pain by pain, tear by tear, on the backs of those earlier Christians who testified to the truth by offering their lives, thus, building brick by brick, the foundation of Christ's church.
These stories deserve to be told. These saints deserve to be remembered.