Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

martyrdom

6 Entries

.. we too, beloved brothers, even if ... we do not put up with chains, beatings, prison, other bodily punishments, persecution at the hands of our fellow human beings for righteousness' sake, nevertheless we are capable of receiving the Saviour's chalice and obtaining the palm of martyrdom if we take care to chastise our bodies and subdue them; if we accustom ourselves to supplicating the Lord in the spirit of humility and with a contrite heart, if we attempt to accept with a calm mind insults inflicted by our neighbor; if we rejoice in loving even those who hate us, who inflict injustice upon us, and in doing good to them and praying earnestly for their lives and safety; if we exert ourselves to be adorned with the virtue of patience and also with the fruits of good works. Indeed if we live our lives in this way and, according to the Apostle's words, display our bodies as a living sacrificial offering, holy [and] pleasing to God, He will with heavenly condescension deign to see to it that we are rewarded with the same glory as those who have given their bodies up to death for the Lord's sake. Just as their death is precious in the sight of the Lord, so will our lives become precious [in His sight]... The Venerable Bede (+735) Homilies on the Gospels



Blessed is God! In our time as well martyrs have come forth, and we have been made worthy to see people sacrificed for Christ, people who shed their holy blood to irrigate the entire Church. We have been made worthy to see people, advocates of piety, who are victorious, who are crowned… and we now have these crowned ones among us. St. John Chrysostom

Come and see all people this rare and magnificent scene; the mighty ruler, with all his torturing instruments, loses the battle against a young child. What a wonderful sight! The baby feeds on his mother's milk, and then tells her, "Do not be afraid mother, Jesus is our strength, death is no more, because Christ has risen."

Rejoice Iconium, for from you came great martyrs: the blessed Eulita and her saintly son Kyriacos. They trampled under their feet the devil and all his wicked means. They received the crowns of martyrdom, and taught us how to worship the Holy Trinity. Therefore, we also have faith that Christ who glorified them, can grant us His peace, and save our souls. St. Anatolios, the Patriarch of Constantinople



Having eagerly and with great patience suffered, they are now magnified unto ages of ages. For we all must laud with songs of praise the struggles of the saints, because with a courageous spirit they have striven to implore God’s mercy, shedding their blood to cleanse us all. As mild, forgiving, chaste, pure lambs offering themselves up as a burnt offering for us…, and offering their souls as a pleasing, fragrant sacrifice to God Venerable St. Ephrem of Syria

The death of martyrs is encouragement to the faithful, daring of the Church, confirmation of Christianity, destruction of death, proof of the Resurrection, mocking at demons, condemnation of the devil, teaching of true wisdom and a pious way of life, instillation of disdain for present material benefits and the path of striving for the good to come, comfort in the face of the misfortunes which befall us, an inducement to patience, instruction in courage, the root and fount and mother of all blessings… The blood of martyrs nourishes the Church much more than the moisture of dew brings gardens into bloom. St. John Chrysostom

And reckon ye that it is for your sakes we have been saying these things; for it is in our power, when we are examined, to deny that we are Christians; but we would not live by telling a lie. For, impelled by the desire of the eternal and pure life, we seek the above that is with God, the Father and Creator of all, and hasten to confess our faith, persuaded and convinced as we are that they who have proved to God by their works that they followed Him, and loved to abide with Him where there is no sin to cause disturbance, can obtain these things. This, then, to speak shortly is what we expect and have learned from Christ and teach.. St. Justin the Philosopher and Martyr, The First Apology.





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