What makes a martyr?
There is always some discussion of this and this is not the place to take it up. That said, just because a Christian dies or is killed they are not necessarily considered a martyr but is is also true that just because someone does not die that they are not a martyr?
I guess the question is this: is what you are doing enough to get you into trouble, possibly even killed?
Acacius was the bishop of Hither in Asia. He was arrested in the persecution of Emperor Trajan (Decius) for the crimes of Christianity and refusing to sacrifice to idols. He was brought before a man named Martian of the local Roman court. His defense of the Faith was so impressive that they set him free and Martin was promoted (depending upon your reading, both actions by the emperor himself). Because of his arrest and his willingness to die for the faith he is often listed as a martyr, but he apparently survived.
Natalia, on the other hand did not. She was a school teacher in Poznan, Poland and a very active Catholic. She was arrested, tortured, held to public ridicule, deported, imprisoned, sentenced to hard labor, and executed by the Nazis in the gas chambers of Ravensbrück.
Time can confuse the nature of our deaths, but it cannot erase the effects of our lives if we have lived them for Christ, without compromise or fear.
Perhaps being able to die to one's self in defense of the Faith is just as important as physical death in defense of the Faith?
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
– 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
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