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May 10, 2010

A Guide To How We Can All Become Martyrs


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Every Christian can accept for himself martyrdom for the Faith, in time of persecution as well as in time of peace.

Abba Athanasius says: "Be tortured by your conscience, die to sin, subdue earthly organs and you will be a martyr according to your wishes. They [the persecuted and the martyrs] fought with emperors and princes; you also have the king of sins - the devil and demonic princes. Before, there were idols, pagan temples and those who offer sacrifice to the idols. And now, they exist as thoughts in the soul. He who is a slave to debauchery worships the idol of Aphrodite. He who becomes angry and enraged worships the idol of Ares. He who is avaricious and closed to the pain and misery of his neighbor worships the idol Hermes. If you refrain from all of this and preserve yourself from passions, you have overcome idols, you have rejected an evil belief and have become a martyr for the True Faith."

Therefore, a man need not especially yearn for persecution and martyrdom. Everyone can and at all times endure martyrdom for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.