“And they have conquered him [the Devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12:11).
Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude. “[St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote,] ‘Let me become the food of the beasts, through whom it will be given me to reach God'” (Catechism 2473).
More martyrs for Jesus Christ died in the 20th century than in all previous 19 centuries combined. This century will most likely prove to be more repressive and bloody. The world is more anti-Christian than ever since the first centuries in Rome.
China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and all the Muslim nations, India, growing secular-godless quarters in the Western World, North Korea …
America is also becoming ever increasingly pagan and anti-Christian, especially anti-Catholic. I remind my children to raise my grandkids to be martyrs. Not that I want them to die, but if a choice is imposed upon them — I want them to stay loyal to Jesus Christ, even if it icosts them their lives. I want my family to spend eternity in heaven with me.
“if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12).
“So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven;
33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.
37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:32-39).