On the day of the pagan feast of December 20th in 107 AD, St Ignatius was taken into the arena of the circus and he appealed to the people: "Men of Rome, you know I was sentenced to death not for any crime but for the sake of my God -- the One I desire to embrace and to whom we all seek. I am His wheat, to be ground by his teeth; and so I will be to the animals, as to Him, pure bread." Immediately thereafter, the lions were released.
There is a legend that after St Paul's return to Rome he preached at the court of the emperor Nero. By this his favorite concubine found faith in Jesus. For this he was tried. But though the grace of God was spared, in his own words, from the mouth of the lion (that is, from the wild beasts in the circus). But he was cast into prison. And after nine months of imprisonment he was beheaded by the sword as a Roman citizen.
St. Agnes Early Christian Mosaics from the Fourth to the Seventh Centuries: Rome, Naples, Milan, Ravenna. Fourteen Plates in Color. Translated from the German, 1946. Jewelled belt, wrapped over dress, decorated underdress and fabric belt. Wonderfully complex hair style. I love it.
Saint Mina turned down an offer to sacrifice to pagan gods, and received a most cruel torment, after which he was beheaded in 304. The body of the holy martyr was ordered to be burned. Christians gathered at night, from the fire, the surviving remnants of the martyr and put his name on the temple which had been built to honor the end of persecution in the Great Mines of suffering and death.