Pontianus of Spoleto

Pontianus of Spoleto was believed to have been born in 156.  He was martyred during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Pontianus was a young man from a local noble family of Spoleto.  When he was 18  he was denounced as a Christian to the Roman authorities. He was brought before Flavian the judge.  He chose torture and death rather than renounce his faith. He was condemned to death.  Pontian was subjected to a wide variety of tortures before his death: First, he was scourged then forced to walk on hot coals. Then he was tortured with iron claws, has been thrown to the lions, but would have done nothing to him. He was denied food and finally molten lead was poured onto his neck.  When none of that worked he was beheaded on January 14 175.  Legend says that a healing spring emerged where his head landed.

Pontianus’ body was buried in the local cemetery. The Basilica of San Ponziano was eventually built over his grave as a shrine to his memory. In Spoleto, Italy, he is invoked for protection against earthquakes.