Age of Martyrs

Hattip to Southern Appeal.  The executions of Saint John Cardinal Fisher and Saint Thomas More as portrayed in The Tudors.   It was largely because of the courage that these men showed, and the courage  hundreds of other men and women demonstrated who were martyred under the Crowned Monster Henry VIII, his son, and Bloody Elizabeth, that a remnant of the Catholic faith survived for centuries in England, Wales and Scotland, in the face of bitter persecution, until Catholic Emancipation in 1829.

Martyrdom has always been a great factor in spreading, and preserving, the Faith.  People, unless granted a special vision, cannot see God in this life, but they can see martyrs, men and women like them, who are willing to have taken away from them the precious gift of life in order to hold fast to God and His Truth.  It is too easy for religion to simply fade into the background of life for most people, even those who practice their faith.  Martyrs remind us that the worship of God is the most important thing, even more important than our lives.

When we think of the Age of Martyrs, I suspect most of us call to mind the early Christians and their persecution by the Romans.  Actually, the greatest Age of Martyrs in the history of the Church was probably in the last century when at least one million Catholics were martyred for the Faith.  I pray that in this century such persecutions of Catholics will not occur.  I also pray that if they do, that Catholics will once again be willing to die for the God who died for them.

4 Responses to Age of Martyrs

  1. Jay Anderson says:

    I posted a similar comment over at Feddie’s, but it is unfortunate that they got More’s line wrong: it is “… the King’s good servant AND God’s first.”

    It is important to remember that the obligations are not mutually exclusive. More believed he was serving the best interests of King and country by remaining faithful to God and the Church. In the same way, we best fulfill our patriotic obligations when we remain faithful to what God asks of us.

  2. Anthony says:

    Much prefer the portrayal of Thomas Moore’s martyrdom in A Man For All Seasons.

  3. viona walsch says:

    I loved that movie, “A Man for All Seasons”. Thank you for reminding me of it, Anthony.

  4. viona walsch says:

    I loved that movie, “A Man for All Seasons”. Thank you for reminding me of it, Anthony.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

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