Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q124

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Q123 Q125



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IIª-IIae q. 124 pr. Deinde considerandum est de martyrio. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quinque. Primo, utrum martyrium sit actus virtutis. Secundo, cuius virtutis sit actus. Tertio, de perfectione huius actus. Quarto, de poena martyrii. Quinto, de causa. Question 124. Martyrdom 1. Is martyrdom an act of virtue? 2. Of what virtue is it the act? 3. The perfection of this act 4. The pain of martyrdom 5. Its cause
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod martyrium non sit actus virtutis. Omnis enim actus virtutis est voluntarius. Sed martyrium quandoque non est voluntarium, ut patet de innocentibus pro Christo occisis, de quibus dicit Hilarius, super Matth., quod in aeternitatis profectum per martyrii gloriam efferebantur. Ergo martyrium non est actus virtutis. Objection 1. It seems that martyrdom is not an act of virtue. For all acts of virtue are voluntary. But martyrdom is sometimes not voluntary, as in the case of the Innocents who were slain for Christ's sake, and of whom Hillary says (Super Matth. i) that "they attained the ripe age of eternity through the glory of martyrdom." Therefore martyrdom is not an act of virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, nullum illicitum est actus virtutis. Sed occidere seipsum est illicitum, ut supra habitum est. Per quod tamen martyrium consummatur, dicit enim Augustinus, in I de Civ. Dei, quod quaedam sanctae feminae, tempore persecutionis, ut insectatores suae pudicitiae devitarent, se in fluvium deiecerunt, eoque modo defunctae sunt; earumque martyria in Catholica Ecclesia veneratione celeberrima frequentantur. Non ergo martyrium est actus virtutis. Objection 2. Further, nothing unlawful is an act of virtue. Now it is unlawful to kill oneself, as stated above (Question 64, Article 5), and yet martyrdom is achieved by so doing: for Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i) that "during persecution certain holy women, in order to escape from those who threatened their chastity, threw themselves into a river, and so ended their lives, and their martyrdom is honored in the Catholic Church with most solemn veneration." Therefore martyrdom is not an act of virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, laudabile est quod aliquis sponte se offerat ad exequendum actum virtutis. Sed non est laudabile quod aliquis martyrio se ingerat, sed magis videtur esse praesumptuosum et periculosum. Non ergo martyrium est actus virtutis. Objection 3. Further, it is praiseworthy to offer oneself to do an act of virtue. But it is not praiseworthy to court martyrdom, rather would it seem to be presumptuous and rash. Therefore martyrdom is not an act of virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod praemium beatitudinis non debetur nisi actui virtutis. Debetur autem martyrio, secundum illud Matth. V, beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum. Ergo martyrium est actus virtutis. On the contrary, The reward of beatitude is not due save to acts of virtue. Now it is due to martyrdom, since it is written (Matthew 5:10): "Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Therefore martyrdom is an act of virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, ad virtutem pertinet quod aliquis in bono rationis conservetur. Consistit autem bonum rationis in veritate, sicut in proprio obiecto; et in iustitia, sicut in proprio effectu, sicut ex supra dictis patet. Pertinet autem ad rationem martyrii ut aliquis firmiter stet in veritate et iustitia contra persequentium impetus. Unde manifestum est quod martyrium est actus virtutis. I answer that, As stated above (123, 1 and 3), it belongs to virtue to safeguard man in the good of reason. Now the good of reason consists in the truth as its proper object, and in justice as its proper effect, as shown above (109, 1 and 2; 123, 12). And martyrdom consists essentially in standing firmly to truth and justice against the assaults of persecution. Hence it is evident that martyrdom is an act of virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod quidam dixerunt quod in innocentibus acceleratus est miraculose usus liberi arbitrii, ita quod etiam voluntarie martyrium passi sunt. Sed quia hoc per auctoritatem Scripturae non comprobatur, ideo melius dicendum est quod martyrii gloriam, quam in aliis propria voluntas meretur, illi parvuli occisi per Dei gratiam sunt assecuti. Nam effusio sanguinis propter Christum vicem gerit Baptismi. Unde sicut pueris baptizatis per gratiam baptismalem meritum Christi operatur ad gloriam obtinendam, ita in occisis propter Christum meritum martyrii Christi operatur ad palmam martyrii consequendam. Unde Augustinus dicit, in quodam sermone de Epiphania, quasi eos alloquens, ille de vestra corona dubitabit in passione pro Christo, qui etiam parvulis Baptismum prodesse non aestimat Christi. Non habebatis aetatem qua in passurum Christum crederetis, sed habebatis carnem in qua pro Christo passuro passionem sustineretis. Reply to Objection 1. Some have said that in the case of the Innocents the use of their free will was miraculously accelerated, so that they suffered martyrdom even voluntarily. Since, however, Scripture contains no proof of this, it is better to say that these babes in being slain obtained by God's grace the glory of martyrdom which others acquire by their own will. For the shedding of one's blood for Christ's sake takes the place of Baptism. Wherefore just as in the case of baptized children the merit of Christ is conducive to the acquisition of glory through the baptismal grace, so in those who were slain for Christ's sake the merit of Christ's martyrdom is conducive to the acquisition of the martyr's palm. Hence Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (De Diversis lxvi), as though he were addressing them: "A man that does not believe that children are benefited by the baptism of Christ will doubt of your being crowned in suffering for Christ. You were not old enough to believe in Christ's future sufferings, but you had a body wherein you could endure suffering of Christ Who was to suffer."
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus ibidem dicit, esset possibile quod aliquibus fide dignis testificationibus divina persuasit auctoritas Ecclesiae ut dictarum sanctarum memoriam honoraret. Reply to Objection 2. Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i) that "possibly the Church was induced by certain credible witnesses of Divine authority thus to honor the memory of those holy women [Cf. 64, 1, ad 2]."
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod praecepta legis dantur de actibus virtutis. Dictum autem est supra quaedam praecepta legis divinae tradita esse secundum praeparationem animi, ut scilicet homo sit paratus hoc vel illud faciendi cum fuerit opportunum. Ita etiam et aliqua pertinent ad actum virtutis secundum animi praeparationem, ut scilicet, superveniente tali casu, homo secundum rationem agat. Et hoc praecipue videtur observandum in martyrio, quod consistit in debita sustinentia passionum iniuste inflictarum, non autem debet homo occasionem dare alteri iniuste agendi, sed si alius iniuste egerit, ipse debet moderate tolerare. Reply to Objection 3. The precepts of the Law are about acts of virtue. Now it has been stated (I-II, 108, 1, ad 4) that some of the precepts of the Divine Law are to be understood in reference to the preparation of the mind, in the sense that man ought to be prepared to do such and such a thing, whenever expedient. On the same way certain things belong to an act of virtue as regards the preparation of the mind, so that in such and such a case a man should act according to reason. And this observation would seem very much to the point in the case of martyrdom, which consists in the right endurance of sufferings unjustly inflicted. Nor ought a man to give another an occasion of acting unjustly: yet if anyone act unjustly, one ought to endure it in moderation.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod martyrium non sit actus fortitudinis. Dicitur enim martyr in Graeco quasi testis. Testimonium autem redditur fidei Christi, secundum illud Act. I, eritis mihi testes in Ierusalem, et cetera. Et maximus dicit, in quodam sermone, mater martyrii fides Catholica est, in qua illustres athletae suo sanguine subscripserunt. Ergo martyrium est potius actus fidei quam fortitudinis. Objection 1. It seems that martyrdom is not an act of fortitude. For the Greek martyr signifies a witness. Now witness is borne to the faith of Christ. according to Acts 1:8, "You shall be witnesses unto Me," etc. and Maximus says in a sermon: "The mother of martyrs is the Catholic faith which those glorious warriors have sealed with their blood." Therefore martyrdom is an act of faith rather than of fortitude.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, actus laudabilis ad illam virtutem praecipue pertinet quae ad ipsum inclinat, et quae ab ipso manifestatur, et sine qua ipse non valet. Sed ad martyrium praecipue inclinat caritas, unde in quodam sermone maximi dicitur, caritas Christi in martyribus suis vicit. Maxime etiam caritas per actum martyrii manifestatur, secundum illud Ioan. XV, maiorem dilectionem nemo habet quam ut animam suam ponat quis pro amicis suis. Sine caritate etiam martyrium nihil valet, secundum illud I ad Cor. XIII, si tradidero corpus meum ita ut ardeam, caritatem autem non habuero, nihil mihi prodest. Ergo martyrium magis est actus caritatis quam fortitudinis. Objection 2. Further, a praiseworthy act belongs chiefly to the virtue which inclines thereto, is manifested thereby, and without which the act avails nothing. Now charity is the chief incentive to martyrdom: Thus Maximus says in a sermon: "The charity of Christ is victorious in His martyrs." Again the greatest proof of charity lies in the act of martyrdom, according to John 15:13, "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Moreover without charity martyrdom avails nothing, according to 1 Corinthians 13:3, "If I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Therefore martyrdom is an act of charity rather than of fortitude.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in quodam sermone de sancto Cypriano, facile est martyrem celebrando venerari, magnum vero fidem eius et patientiam imitari. Sed in unoquoque actu virtutis praecipue laudabilis redditur virtus cuius est actus. Ergo martyrium magis est actus patientiae quam fortitudinis. Objection 3. Further, Augustine says in a sermon on St. Cyprian: "It is easy to honor a martyr by singing his praises, but it is a great thing to imitate his faith and patience." Now that which calls chiefly for praise in a virtuous act, is the virtue of which it is the act. Therefore martyrdom is an act of patience rather than of fortitude.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod Cyprianus dicit, in epistola ad martyres et confessores, o beati martyres, quibus vos laudibus praedicem? O milites fortissimi, robur corporis vestri quo praeconio vocis explicem? Quilibet autem laudatur de virtute cuius actum exercet. Ergo martyrium est actus fortitudinis. On the contrary, Cyprian says (Ep. ad Mart. et Conf. ii): "Blessed martyrs, with what praise shall I extol you? Most valiant warriors, how shall I find words to proclaim the strength of your courage?" Now a person is praised on account of the virtue whose act he performs. Therefore martyrdom is an act of fortitude.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex supra dictis patet, ad fortitudinem pertinet ut confirmet hominem in bono virtutis contra pericula, et praecipue contra pericula mortis, et maxime eius quae est in bello. Manifestum est autem quod in martyrio homo firmiter confirmatur in bono virtutis, dum fidem et iustitiam non deserit propter imminentia pericula mortis, quae etiam in quodam certamine particulari a persecutoribus imminent. Unde Cyprianus dicit, in quodam sermone, vidit admirans praesentium multitudo caeleste certamen, et in praelio stetisse servos Christi voce libera, mente incorrupta, virtute divina. Unde manifestum est quod martyrium est fortitudinis actus. Et propter hoc de martyribus legit Ecclesia, fortes facti sunt in bello. I answer that, As stated above (123, 1, seqq.), it belongs to fortitude to strengthen man in the good of virtue, especially against dangers, and chiefly against dangers of death, and most of all against those that occur in battle. Now it is evident that in martyrdom man is firmly strengthened in the good of virtue, since he cleaves to faith and justice notwithstanding the threatening danger of death, the imminence of which is moreover due to a kind of particular contest with his persecutors. Hence Cyprian says in a sermon (Ep. ad Mart. et Conf. ii): "The crowd of onlookers wondered to see an unearthly battle, and Christ's servants fighting erect, undaunted in speech, with souls unmoved, and strength divine." Wherefore it is evident that martyrdom is an act of fortitude; for which reason the Church reads in the office of Martyrs: They "became valiant in battle" [Hebrews 11:34.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod in actu fortitudinis duo sunt consideranda. Quorum unum est bonum in quo fortis firmatur, et hoc est fortitudinis finis. Aliud est ipsa firmitas, qua quis non cedit contrariis prohibentibus ab illo bono, et in hoc consistit essentia fortitudinis. Sicut autem fortitudo civilis firmat animum hominis in iustitia humana, propter cuius conservationem mortis pericula sustinet; ita etiam fortitudo gratuita firmat animum hominis in bono iustitiae Dei, quae est per fidem Iesu Christi, ut dicitur Rom. III. Et sic martyrium comparatur ad fidem sicut ad finem in quo aliquis firmatur, ad fortitudinem autem sicut ad habitum elicientem. Reply to Objection 1. Two things must be considered in the act of fortitude. one is the good wherein the brave man is strengthened, and this is the end of fortitude; the other is the firmness itself, whereby a man does not yield to the contraries that hinder him from achieving that good, and in this consists the essence of fortitude. Now just as civic fortitude strengthens a man's mind in human justice, for the safeguarding of which he braves the danger of death, so gratuitous fortitude strengthens man's soul in the good of Divine justice, which is "through faith in Christ Jesus," according to Romans 3:22. Thus martyrdom is related to faith as the end in which one is strengthened, but to fortitude as the eliciting habit.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ad actum martyrii inclinat quidem caritas sicut primum et principale motivum, per modum virtutis imperantis, fortitudo autem sicut motivum proprium, per modum virtutis elicientis. Et inde etiam est quod martyrium est actus caritatis ut imperantis, fortitudinis autem ut elicientis. Et inde est quod utramque virtutem manifestat. Quod autem sit meritorium, habet ex caritate, sicut et quilibet virtutis actus. Et ideo sine caritate non valet. Reply to Objection 2. Charity inclines one to the act of martyrdom, as its first and chief motive cause, being the virtue commanding it, whereas fortitude inclines thereto as being its proper motive cause, being the virtue that elicits it. Hence martyrdom is an act of charity as commanding, and of fortitude as eliciting. For this reason also it manifests both virtues. It is due to charity that it is meritorious, like any other act of virtue: and for this reason it avails not without charity.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, principalior actus fortitudinis est sustinere, ad quem pertinet martyrium; non autem ad secundarium actum eius, qui est aggredi. Et quia patientia deservit fortitudini ex parte actus principalis qui est sustinere, inde est etiam quod concomitanter in martyribus patientia commendatur. Reply to Objection 3. As stated above (Question 123, Article 6), the chief act of fortitude is endurance: to this and not to its secondary act, which is aggression, martyrdom belongs. And since patience serves fortitude on the part of its chief act, viz. endurance, hence it is that martyrs are also praised for their patience.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod martyrium non sit actus maximae perfectionis. Illud enim ad perfectionem vitae videtur pertinere quod cadit sub consilio, non sub praecepto, quia scilicet non est de necessitate salutis. Sed martyrium videtur esse de necessitate salutis, dicit enim apostolus, Rom. X, corde creditur ad iustitiam, ore autem fit confessio ad salutem; et I Ioann. III dicitur quod nos debemus pro fratribus animam ponere. Ergo martyrium non pertinet ad perfectionem. Objection 1. It seems that martyrdom is not an act of the greatest perfection. For seemingly that which is a matter of counsel and not of precept pertains to perfection, because, to wit, it is not necessary for salvation. But it would seem that martyrdom is necessary for salvation, since the Apostle says (Romans 10:10), "With the heart we believe unto justice, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation," and it is written (1 John 3:16), that "we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." Therefore martyrdom does not pertain to perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, ad maiorem perfectionem pertinere videtur quod aliquis det Deo animam, quod fit per obedientiam, quam quod det Deo proprium corpus, quod fit per martyrium, unde Gregorius dicit, ult. Moral., quod obedientia cunctis victimis praefertur. Ergo martyrium non est actus maximae perfectionis. Objection 2. Further, it seems to point to greater perfection that a man give his soul to God, which is done by obedience, than that he give God his body, which is done by martyrdom: wherefore Gregory says (Moral. xxxv) that "obedience is preferable to all sacrifices." Therefore martyrdom is not an act of the greatest perfection.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, melius esse videtur aliis prodesse quam seipsum in bono conservare, quia bonum gentis melius est quam bonum unius hominis, secundum philosophum, in I Ethic. Sed ille qui martyrium sustinet, sibi soli prodest, ille autem qui docet, proficit multis. Ergo actus docendi et gubernandi subditos est perfectior quam actus martyrii. Objection 3. Further, it would seem better to do good to others than to maintain oneself in good, since the "good of the nation is better than the good of the individual," according to the Philosopher (Ethic. i, 2). Now he that suffers martyrdom profits himself alone, whereas he that teaches does good to many. Therefore the act of teaching and guiding subjects is more perfect than the act of martyrdom.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus, in libro de sancta Virginit., praefert martyrium virginitati, quae ad perfectionem pertinet. Ergo videtur martyrium maxime ad perfectionem pertinere. On the contrary, Augustine (De Sanct. Virgin. xlvi) prefers martyrdom to virginity which pertains to perfection. Therefore martyrdom seems to belong to perfection in the highest degree.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod de aliquo actu virtutis dupliciter loqui possumus. Uno modo, secundum speciem ipsius actus, prout comparatur ad virtutem proxime elicientem ipsum. Et sic non potest esse quod martyrium, quod consistit in debita tolerantia mortis, sit perfectissimus inter virtutis actus. Quia tolerare mortem non est laudabile secundum se, sed solum secundum quod ordinatur ad aliquod bonum quod consistit in actu virtutis, puta ad fidem et dilectionem Dei. Unde ille actus virtutis, cum sit finis, melior est. Alio modo potest considerari actus virtutis secundum quod comparatur ad primum motivum, quod est amor caritatis. Et ex hac parte praecipue aliquis actus habet quod ad perfectionem vitae pertineat, quia, ut apostolus dicit, Coloss. III, caritas est vinculum perfectionis. Martyrium autem, inter omnes actus virtuosos, maxime demonstrat perfectionem caritatis. Quia tanto magis ostenditur aliquis aliquam rem amare, quanto pro ea rem magis amatam contemnit, et rem magis odiosam eligit pati. Manifestum est autem quod inter omnia alia bona praesentis vitae, maxime amat homo ipsam vitam, et e contrario maxime odit ipsam mortem, et praecipue cum doloribus corporalium tormentorum, quorum metu etiam bruta animalia a maximis voluptatibus absterrentur, ut Augustinus dicit, in libro octoginta trium quaest. Et secundum hoc patet quod martyrium inter ceteros actus humanos est perfectior secundum suum genus, quasi maximae caritatis signum, secundum illud Ioan. XV, maiorem caritatem nemo habet quam ut animam suam ponat quis pro amicis suis. I answer that, We may speak of an act of virtue in two ways. First, with regard to the species of that act, as compared to the virtue proximately eliciting it. On this way martyrdom, which consists in the due endurance of death, cannot be the most perfect of virtuous acts, because endurance of death is not praiseworthy in itself, but only in so far as it is directed to some good consisting in an act of virtue, such as faith or the love of God, so that this act of virtue being the end is better. A virtuous act may be considered in another way, in comparison with its first motive cause, which is the love of charity, and it is in this respect that an act comes to belong to the perfection of life, since, as the Apostle says (Colossians 3:14), that "charity . . . is the bond of perfection." Now, of all virtuous acts martyrdom is the greatest proof of the perfection of charity: since a man's love for a thing is proved to be so much the greater, according as that which he despises for its sake is more dear to him, or that which he chooses to suffer for its sake is more odious. But it is evident that of all the goods of the present life man loves life itself most, and on the other hand he hates death more than anything, especially when it is accompanied by the pains of bodily torment, "from fear of which even dumb animals refrain from the greatest pleasures," as Augustine observes (Q83, qu. 36). And from this point of view it is clear that martyrdom is the most perfect of human acts in respect of its genus, as being the sign of the greatest charity, according to John 15:13: "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod nullus est actus perfectionis sub consilio cadens qui in aliquo eventu non cadat sub praecepto, quasi de necessitate salutis existens, sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de adulterinis coniugiis, quod aliquis incidit in necessitatem continentiae servandae propter absentiam vel infirmitatem uxoris. Et ideo non est contra perfectionem martyrii si in aliquo casu sit de necessitate salutis. Est enim aliquis casus in quo martyrium perferre non est de necessitate salutis, puta cum ex zelo fidei et caritate fraterna multoties leguntur sancti martyres sponte se obtulisse martyrio. Illa autem praecepta sunt intelligenda secundum praeparationem animi. Reply to Objection 1. There is no act of perfection, which is a matter of counsel, but what in certain cases is a matter of precept, as being necessary for salvation. Thus Augustine declares (De Adult. Conjug. xiii) that a man is under the obligation of observing continency, through the absence or sickness of his wife. Hence it is not contrary to the perfection of martyrdom if in certain cases it be necessary for salvation, since there are cases when it is not necessary for salvation to suffer martyrdom; thus we read of many holy martyrs who through zeal for the faith or brotherly love gave themselves up to martyrdom of their own accord. As to these precepts, they are to be understood as referring to the preparation of the mind.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod martyrium complectitur id quod summum in obedientia esse potest, ut scilicet aliquis sit obediens usque ad mortem, sicut de Christo legitur, Philipp. II, quod factus est obediens usque ad mortem. Unde patet quod martyrium secundum se est perfectius quam obedientia absolute dicta. Reply to Objection 2. Martyrdom embraces the highest possible degree of obedience, namely obedience unto death; thus we read of Christ (Philippians 2:8) that He became "obedient unto death." Hence it is evident that martyrdom is of itself more perfect than obedience considered absolutely.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de martyrio secundum propriam speciem actus, ex qua non habet excellentiam inter omnes actus virtutum, sicut nec fortitudo est excellentior inter omnes virtutes. Reply to Objection 3. This argument considers martyrdom according to the proper species of its act, whence it derives no excellence over all other virtuous acts; thus neither is fortitude more excellent than all virtues.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod mors non sit de ratione martyrii. Dicit enim Hieronymus, in sermone de assumptione, recte dixerim quod Dei genitrix virgo et martyr fuit, quamvis in pace vitam finierit. Et Gregorius dicit, quamvis occasio persecutionis desit, habet tamen pax suum martyrium, quia etsi carnis colla ferro non subiicimus, spirituali tamen gladio carnalia desideria in mente trucidamus. Ergo absque passione mortis potest esse martyrium. Objection 1. It seems that death is not essential to martyrdom. For Jerome says in a sermon on the Assumption (Epist. ad Paul. et Eustoch.): "I should say rightly that the Mother of God was both virgin and martyr, although she ended her days in peace": and Gregory says (Hom. iii in Evang.): "Although persecution has ceased to offer the opportunity, yet the peace we enjoy is not without its martyrdom, since even if we no longer yield the life of the body to the sword, yet do we slay fleshly desires in the soul with the sword of the spirit." Therefore there can be martyrdom without suffering death.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, pro integritate carnis servanda aliquae mulieres leguntur laudabiliter vitam suam contempsisse, et ita videtur quod corporalis integritas castitatis praeferatur vitae corporali. Sed quandoque ipsa integritas carnis aufertur, vel auferri intentatur, pro confessione fidei Christianae, ut patet de Agnete et Lucia. Ergo videtur quod martyrium magis debeat dici si aliqua mulier pro fide Christi integritatem carnis perdat, quam si etiam vitam perderet corporalem. Unde et Lucia dixit, si me invitam feceris violari, castitas mihi duplicabitur ad coronam. Objection 2. Further, we read of certain women as commended for despising life for the sake of safeguarding the integrity of the flesh: wherefore seemingly the integrity of chastity is preferable to the life of the body. Now sometimes the integrity of the flesh has been forfeited or has been threatened in confession of the Christian faith, as in the case of Agnes and Lucy. Therefore it seems that the name of martyr should be accorded to a woman who forfeits the integrity of the flesh for the sake of Christ's faith, rather than if she were to forfeit even the life of the body: wherefore also Lucy said: "If thou causest me to be violated against my will, my chastity will gain me a twofold crown."
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, martyrium est fortitudinis actus. Ad fortitudinem autem pertinet non solum mortem non formidare, sed nec alias adversitates, ut Augustinus dicit, in VI musicae. Sed multae sunt aliae adversitates praeter mortem, quas aliqui possunt sustinere pro fide Christi, sicut carcerem, exilium, rapinam bonorum, ut patet ad Heb. X. Unde et sancti Marcelli Papae martyrium celebratur, qui tamen fuit in carcere mortuus. Ergo non est de necessitate martyrii quod aliquis sustineat poenam mortis. Objection 3. Further, martyrdom is an act of fortitude. But it belongs to fortitude to brave not only death but also other hardships, as Augustine declares (Music. vi). Now there are many other hardships besides death, which one may suffer for Christ's faith, namely imprisonment, exile, being stripped of one's goods, as mentioned in Hebrews 10:34, for which reason we celebrate the martyrdom of Pope Saint Marcellus, notwithstanding that he died in prison. Therefore it is not essential to martyrdom that one suffer the pain of death.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 arg. 4 Praeterea, martyrium est actus meritorius, ut dictum est. Sed actus meritorius non potest esse post mortem. Ergo ante mortem. Et ita mors non est de ratione martyrii. Objection 4. Further, martyrdom is a meritorious act, as stated above (2, ad 1; 3). Now it cannot be a meritorious act after death. Therefore it is before death; and consequently death is not essential to martyrdom.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod maximus dicit, in quodam sermone, de martyre, quod vincit pro fide moriendo qui vinceretur sine fide vivendo. On the contrary, Maximus says in a sermon on the martyrs that "in dying for the faith he conquers who would have been vanquished in living without faith."
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, martyr dicitur quasi testis fidei Christianae, per quam nobis visibilia pro invisibilibus contemnenda proponuntur, ut dicitur Heb. XI. Ad martyrium ergo pertinet ut homo testificetur fidem, se opere ostendens cuncta praesentia contemnere, ut ad futura et ad invisibilia bona perveniat. Quandiu autem homini remanet vita corporalis, nondum opere se ostendit temporalia cuncta despicere, consueverunt enim homines et consanguineos et omnia bona possessa contemnere, et etiam dolores corporis pati, ut vitam conservent. Unde et Satan contra Iob induxit, pellem pro pelle, et cuncta quae habet homo, dabit pro anima sua, idest pro vita corporali. Et ideo ad perfectam rationem martyrii requiritur quod aliquis mortem sustineat propter Christum. I answer that As stated above (Article 2), a martyr is so called as being a witness to the Christian faith, which teaches us to despise things visible for the sake of things invisible, as stated in Hebrews 11. Accordingly it belongs to martyrdom that a man bear witness to the faith in showing by deed that he despises all things present, in order to obtain invisible goods to come. Now so long as a man retains the life of the body he does not show by deed that he despises all things relating to the body. For men are wont to despise both their kindred and all they possess, and even to suffer bodily pain, rather than lose life. Hence Satan testified against Job (Job 2:4): "Skin for skin, and all that a man hath he will give for his soul" [Douay: 'life'] i.e. for the life of his body. Therefore the perfect notion of martyrdom requires that a man suffer death for Christ's sake.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illae auctoritates, et si quae similes inveniuntur, loquuntur de martyrio per quandam similitudinem. Reply to Objection 1. The authorities quoted, and the like that one may meet with, speak of martyrdom by way of similitude.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod in muliere quae integritatem carnis perdit, vel ad perdendum eam damnatur, occasione fidei Christianae, non est apud homines manifestum utrum hoc mulier patiatur propter amorem fidei Christianae, vel magis pro contemptu castitatis. Et ideo apud homines non redditur per hoc testimonium sufficiens. Unde hoc non proprie habet rationem martyrii. Sed apud Deum, qui corda scrutatur, potest hoc ad praemium deputari, sicut Lucia dixit. Reply to Objection 2. When a woman forfeits the integrity of the flesh, or is condemned to forfeit it under pretext of the Christian faith, it is not evident to men whether she suffers this for love of the Christian faith, or rather through contempt of chastity. Wherefore in the sight of men her testimony is not held to be sufficient, and consequently this is not martyrdom properly speaking. On the sight of God, however, Who searcheth the heart, this may be deemed worthy of a reward, as Lucy said.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, fortitudo principaliter consistit circa pericula mortis, circa alia autem consequenter. Et ideo nec martyrium proprie dicitur pro sola tolerantia carceris vel exilii vel rapinae divitiarum, nisi forte secundum quod ex his sequitur mors. Reply to Objection 3. As stated above (123, 4,5), fortitude regards danger of death chiefly, and other dangers consequently; wherefore a person is not called a martyr merely for suffering imprisonment, or exile, or forfeiture of his wealth, except in so far as these result in death.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 4 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod meritum martyrii non est post mortem, sed in ipsa voluntaria sustinentia mortis, prout scilicet aliquis voluntarie patitur inflictionem mortis. Contingit tamen quandoque quod aliquis post mortalia vulnera suscepta pro Christo, vel quascumque alias tribulationes continuatas usque ad mortem, quas a persecutoribus patitur pro fide Christi, diu aliquis vivat. In quo statu actus martyrii meritorius est, et etiam ipso eodem tempore quo huiusmodi afflictiones patitur. Reply to Objection 4. The merit of martyrdom is not after death, but in the voluntary endurance of death, namely in the fact that a person willingly suffers being put to death. It happens sometimes, however, that a man lives for some time after being mortally wounded for Christ's sake, or after suffering for the faith of Christ any other kind of hardship inflicted by persecution and continued until death ensues. The act of martyrdom is meritorious while a man is in this state, and at the very time that he is suffering these hardships.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sola fides sit causa martyrii. Dicitur enim I Pet. IV, nemo vestrum patiatur quasi homicida aut fur, aut aliquid huiusmodi, si autem ut Christianus, non erubescat, glorificet autem Deum in isto nomine. Sed ex hoc dicitur aliquis Christianus quod tenet fidem Christi. Ergo sola fides Christi dat patientibus martyrii gloriam. Objection 1. It seems that faith alone is the cause of martyrdom. For it is written (1 Peter 4:15-16): "Let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a railer, or a coveter of other men's things. But if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this name." Now a man is said to be a Christian because he holds the faith of Christ. Therefore only faith in Christ gives the glory of martyrdom to those who suffer.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, martyr dicitur quasi testis. Testimonium autem non redditur nisi veritati. Non autem aliquis dicitur martyr ex testimonio cuiuslibet veritatis, sed solum ex testimonio veritatis divinae. Alioquin, si quis moreretur pro confessione veritatis geometriae, vel alterius scientiae speculativae, esset martyr, quod videtur ridiculum. Ergo sola fides est martyrii causa. Objection 2. Further, a martyr is a kind of witness. But witness is borne to the truth alone. Now one is not called a martyr for bearing witness to any truth, but only for witnessing to the Divine truth, otherwise a man would be a martyr if he were to die for confessing a truth of geometry or some other speculative science, which seems ridiculous. Therefore faith alone is the cause of martyrdom.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, inter alia virtutum opera illa videntur esse potiora quae ordinantur ad bonum commune, quia bonum gentis melius est quam bonum unius hominis, secundum philosophum, in I Ethic. Si ergo aliquod aliud bonum esset causa martyrii, maxime videretur quod illi martyres essent qui pro defensione reipublicae moriuntur. Quod Ecclesiae observatio non habet, non enim militum qui in bello iusto moriuntur martyria celebrantur. Ergo sola fides videtur esse martyrii causa. Objection 3. Further, those virtuous deeds would seem to be of most account which are directed to the common good, since "the good of the nation is better than the good of the individual," according to the Philosopher (Ethic. i, 2). If, then, some other good were the cause of martyrdom, it would seem that before all those would be martyrs who die for the defense of their country. Yet this is not consistent with Church observance, for we do not celebrate the martyrdom of those who die in a just war. Therefore faith alone is the cause of martyrdom.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Matth. V, beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam, quod pertinet ad martyrium, ut Glossa ibidem dicit. Ad iustitiam autem pertinet non solum fides, sed etiam aliae virtutes. Ergo etiam aliae virtutes possunt esse martyrii causa. On the contrary, It is written (Matthew 5:10): "Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake," which pertains to martyrdom, according to a gloss, as well as Jerome's commentary on this passage. Now not only faith but also the other virtues pertain to justice. Therefore other virtues can be the cause of martyrdom.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, martyres dicuntur quasi testes, quia scilicet corporalibus suis passionibus usque ad mortem testimonium perhibent veritati, non cuicumque, sed veritati quae secundum pietatem est, quae per Christum nobis innotuit; unde et martyres Christi dicuntur, quasi testes ipsius. Huiusmodi autem est veritas fidei. Et ideo cuiuslibet martyrii causa est fidei veritas. Sed ad fidei veritatem non solum pertinet ipsa credulitas cordis, sed etiam exterior protestatio. Quae quidem fit non solum per verba quibus aliquis confitetur fidem, sed etiam per facta quibus aliquis fidem se habere ostendit, secundum illud Iac. II, ego ostendam tibi ex operibus fidem meam. Unde et de quibusdam dicitur Tit. I, confitentur se nosse Deum, factis autem negant. Et ideo omnium virtutum opera, secundum quod referuntur in Deum, sunt quaedam protestationes fidei, per quam nobis innotescit quod Deus huiusmodi opera a nobis requirit, et nos pro eis remunerat. Et secundum hoc possunt esse martyrii causa. Unde et beati Ioannis Baptistae martyrium in Ecclesia celebratur, qui non pro neganda fide, sed pro reprehensione adulterii mortem sustinuit. I answer that, As stated above (Article 4), martyrs are so called as being witnesses, because by suffering in body unto death they bear witness to the truth; not indeed to any truth, but to the truth which is in accordance with godliness, and was made known to us by Christ: wherefore Christ's martyrs are His witnesses. Now this truth is the truth of faith. Wherefore the cause of all martyrdom is the truth of faith. But the truth of faith includes not only inward belief, but also outward profession, which is expressed not only by words, whereby one confesses the faith, but also by deeds, whereby a person shows that he has faith, according to James 2:18, "I will show thee, by works, my faith." Hence it is written of certain people (Titus 1:16): "They profess that they know God but in their works they deny Him." Thus all virtuous deeds, inasmuch as they are referred to God, are professions of the faith whereby we come to know that God requires these works of us, and rewards us for them: and in this way they can be the cause of martyrdom. For this reason the Church celebrates the martyrdom of Blessed John the Baptist, who suffered death, not for refusing to deny the faith, but for reproving adultery.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Christianus dicitur qui Christi est. Dicitur autem aliquis esse Christi non solum ex eo quod habet fidem Christi, sed etiam ex eo quod spiritu Christi ad opera virtuosa procedit, secundum illud Rom. VIII, si quis spiritum Christi non habet, hic non est eius; et etiam ex hoc quod, ad imitationem Christi, peccatis moritur, secundum illud Galat. V, qui Christi sunt, carnem suam crucifixerunt, cum vitiis et concupiscentiis. Et ideo ut Christianus patitur non solum qui patitur pro fidei confessione quae fit per verba, sed etiam quicumque patitur pro quocumque bono opere faciendo, vel pro quocumque peccato vitando, propter Christum, quia totum hoc pertinet ad fidei protestationem. Reply to Objection 1. A Christian is one who is Christ's. Now a person is said to be Christ's, not only through having faith in Christ, but also because he is actuated to virtuous deeds by the Spirit of Christ, according to Romans 8:9, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His"; and again because in imitation of Christ he is dead to sins, according to Galatians 5:24, "They that are Christ's have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences." Hence to suffer as a Christian is not only to suffer in confession of the faith, which is done by words, but also to suffer for doing any good work, or for avoiding any sin, for Christ's sake, because this all comes under the head of witnessing to the faith.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod veritas aliarum scientiarum non pertinet ad cultum divinitatis. Et ideo non dicitur esse secundum pietatem. Unde nec eius confessio potest esse directe martyrii causa. Sed quia omne mendacium peccatum est, ut supra habitum est, vitatio mendacii, contra quamcumque veritatem sit, inquantum mendacium est peccatum divinae legi contrarium, potest esse martyrii causa. Reply to Objection 2. The truth of other sciences has no connection with the worship of the Godhead: hence it is not called truth according to godliness, and consequently the confession thereof cannot be said to be the direct cause of martyrdom. Yet, since every lie is a sin, as stated above (110, 3,4), avoidance of a lie, to whatever truth it may be contrary, may be the cause of martyrdom inasmuch as a lie is a sin against the Divine Law.
IIª-IIae q. 124 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod bonum reipublicae est praecipuum inter bona humana. Sed bonum divinum, quod est propria causa martyrii, est potius quam humanum. Quia tamen bonum humanum potest effici divinum, ut si referatur in Deum; potest esse quodcumque bonum humanum martyrii causa secundum quod in Deum refertur. Reply to Objection 3. The good of one's country is paramount among human goods: yet the Divine good, which is the proper cause of martyrdom, is of more account than human good. Nevertheless, since human good may become Divine, for instance when it is referred to God, it follows that any human good in so far as it is referred to God, may be the cause of martyrdom.

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