Analysis of information sources in references of the Wikipedia article "Colosseum" in English language version.
The public execution of condemned offenders, including Christians, is associated above all with the amphitheater, although there were executions at various other venues. Gladiatorial games, hunting displays, and executions also took place at the Circus Maximus, even after the construction of the Colosseum (Humphrey 1987, 121).
He was caught up in the general persecution of the church under the emperor Trajan (r. 98–117), brought to Rome, and fed to the lions in the Coliseum around 107 C.E. His feast day is 17 October. Before his execution, Ignatius wrote seven letters to the churches along his route, one each to Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, and Philadelphia, two to the church at Smyrna, and one to Smyrna's bishop, Polycarp. The letters are a rich source about early theology, liturgy, and church organization.
In the Middle Ages, for example, when the sanctuaries of the martyrs were looked upon with so great veneration, the Coliseum was completely neglected; its name never occurs in the itineraries, or guide-books, compiler for the use of pilgrims to the Eternal City.
The "Mirabilia Romae", the first manuscripts of which date from the twelfth century, cites among the places mentioned in the "Passions" of the martyrs the Circus Flaminius ad pontem Judaeorum, but in this sense makes no allusion to the Coliseum.
Pope St. Pius (1566–72) is said to have recommended persons desirous of obtaining relics to procure some sand from the arena of the Coliseum, which, the pope declared, was impregnated with the blood of martyrs. The opinion of the saintly pontiff, however, does not seem to have been shared by his contemporaries.
The pamphlet was so completely successful that four years later, the jubilee year of 1675, the exterior arcades were closed by order of Clement X; from this time the Coliseum became a sanctuary.
At the instance of St. Leonard of Port Maurice, Benedict XIV (1740-58) erected Stations of the Cross in the Coliseum, which remained until February, 1874, when they were removed by order of Commendatore Rosa. St. Benedict Joseph Labre (d. 1783) passed a life of austere devotion, living on alms, within the walls of the Coliseum.