Martyr In its original meaning, the word martyr, meaning witness, was used in the secular sphere as well as in the New Testament of the Bible. The process of bearing witness was not intended to lead to the death of the witness, although it is known from ancient writers (e.g. Josephus) and from the New Testament that witnesses often died for their testimonies.
During the early Christian centuries, the term acquired the extended meaning of a believer who is called to witness for their religious belief, and on account of this witness, endures suffering and/or death. The term, in this later sense, entered the English language as a loanwordfrom:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyr 9/14/12
1) In his book, on Making Saints, author Kenneth L. Woodward notes the following:
A saint is always someone through whom we catch a glimpse of what God is like—and of what we are called to be. Only God "makes" saints, of course. The church merely identifies from time to time a few of these for emulation. The church then tells the story. But the author is the Source of the grace by which saints live. And there we have it: A saint is someone whose story God tells.
2) James Martin, SJ has a helpful explanation for those strange things you read in the lives of the saints. The Saints Were As Strange as You Are.
Learn about Halloween, All Saints' and All Souls' from Busted Halo.
Watch a Movie
Check out this article "The Top Ten Movies about Saints, Blesseds, Venerables, Servants of God, and Other Holy Men and Women" by James Martin, SJ
Take a Quiz
Which American Saint are you most like? Take this quiz by Loyola Press and find out.
Can You match the Beatitudes?
For All Souls
Using the opening words of the Latin Requiem Mass, this is the traditional prayer for the dead in the Roman Catholic church.
℣. Eternal rest, grant unto them, O LORD,
℟. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
℣. May they rest in peace.
It is important to remember to pray for those who have died.
The R.I.P. on tombstones stands for "Requiescat in pace" which comes from this prayer.
You can pray this when you hear about someone who has died or when you pass a cemetery.