In the traditional Catholic Breviary is the Martyrology. In it your read accounts, from ancient documents, on the lives and deaths of the martyrs for Jesus throughout Catholic history. Most of them were not only killed, but tortured to death. This took place on a regular basis during the Roman Empire for not worshiping the false gods like the sun.
These Martyrs were able to do this because they believed in God, Jesus Christ who was also tortured to death. He was arrested, manhandled, beaten, crowned with thorns, scourged with thongs with lead on them, spit on and died the most scandalous death. He was stripped naked, nailed onto the cross and left to die in agony for three hours.
But these Martyrs also knew the end of the story; Jesus came back to life. He rose from the dead. They learned from Him to not to be attached to this body, this world or belongings. They were able to not fear death. Once we do not fear death and even arrive at the place where we see death as a blessing, no one can scare us by threatening to killing us. In what they perceive as a punishment, (taking of the Catholics their lives), they are actually giving these martyrs great glory with Jesus forever in heaven.
A very interesting thing is that the miracles, that accompanied the martyr’s tortures and deaths, actually brought more Catholics and non believers to be willing to become martyrs for Jesus as well.
Some of the miracles that accompanied them were that they were untouched by the flames that their torturers were used to try to kill them with. Others the hungry wild beast would not kill. Others would recover their lost limbs. When their friends or the accompanying crowd would see this, they would also volunteer to die for Jesus.
The reason most of these saints are listed in the Martyrology is because of all the miracles that would happen after their deaths. Many many miracles would take place at their tombs. And because of the miracles churches would be built in honor of these martyrs. These churches and basilicas are named after the martyrs and are still in use today.
Other interesting thing is that some of these Martyrs, at a way later date, would appear to someone to tell them where their tombs were hidden. They would dig and find exactly what they were told about in the apparition.
The great Fathers of the Church wrote the lives of the martyrs and offered Latin Masses in honor of them. (Like St. Ambrose, St. Augustin adn St. Gregory the Great.) You can still find their writings about the martyrs today.
So as the number of martyrs continues to grow in our times, we need to be ready to die with Jesus, for Jesus, along with the Catholic martyrs who have given their lives throughout the centuries.
Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city. Matt. 23:34
And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places, and pestilences, and famines, and terrors from heaven; and there shall be great signs. But before all these things, they will lay their hands upon you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors, for my name’ s sake. Luke 21:11-12.
They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God. John 16:2
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice and death at every Latin mass we attend.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.