Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume I/IRENAEUS/Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus/XIII.

Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. I, Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus by Irenaeus, translated by Philip Schaff et al.


For[1] when the Greeks, having arrested the slaves of Christian catechumens, then used force against them, in order to learn from them some secret thing [practised] among Christians, these slaves, having nothing to say that would meet the wishes of their tormentors, except that they had heard from their masters that the divine communion was the body and blood of Christ, and imagining that it was actually flesh and blood, gave their inquisitors answer to that effect. Then these latter, assuming such to be the case with regard to the practices of Christians, gave information regarding it to other Greeks, and sought to compel the martyrs Sanctus and Blandina to confess, under the influence of torture, [that the allegation was correct]. To these men Blandina replied very admirably in these words: “How should those persons endure such [accusations], who, for the sake of the practice [of piety], did not avail themselves even of the flesh that was permitted [them to eat]?”


  1. “This extract is found in Œcumenius upon 1 Pet. c. iii. p. 198; and the words used by him indicate, as Grabe has justly observed, that he only condensed a longer passage.”—Harvey.