From The Catholic Thing, Fr. Bevil Bramwell, OMI, writes about the martyrs and compares and contrasts them to celebrities:Share
Martyrs represent more than just names or dates on a calendar. As Saint John Paul II explained – take note – in his encyclical On Faith & Reason, not in a merely devotional context:
Please read the rest there. (Read more.)The martyrs know that they have found the truth about life in the encounter with Jesus Christ, and nothing and no-one could ever take this certainty from them. Neither suffering nor violent death could ever lead them to abandon the truth that they have discovered in the encounter with Christ. This is why to this day the witness of the martyrs continues to arouse such interest, to draw agreement, to win such a hearing and to invite emulation. This is why their word inspires such confidence: from the moment they speak to us of what we perceive deep down as the truth we have sought for so long, the martyrs provide evidence of a love that has no need of lengthy arguments in order to convince. The martyrs stir in us a profound trust because they give voice to what we already feel and they declare what we would like to have the strength to express.They are the standard for understanding people – all people – who arise in human history, not just on a gut level, but according to the truth that they express, the truth of Jesus Christ, to which we have committed ourselves by baptism.
Now, we all hunger to see genuine humanity played out in front of us. We see it in the lives of the martyrs. They live out something of the deepest truth of Jesus Christ. So, far from being abstractly pious or merely edifying examples, the martyrs really relate to real people in real time.