Top Martyr Quotes

Browse top 222 famous quotes and sayings about Martyr by most favorite authors.

Favorite Martyr Quotes

1. "Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood - never."
Author: Albert Camus
2. "The people who have really made history are the martyrs."
Author: Aleister Crowley
3. "Sacrifices will make you a martyr, victories will make you a hero."
Author: Amit Kalantri
4. "The attitude of uncompromising heroism is attractive, and appeals especially to the dramatic instinct. But the purpose of the serious revolutionary is not personal heroism, nor martyrdom, but the creation of a happier world. Those who have the happiness of the world at heart will shrink from attitudes and the facile hysteria of "no parley with the enemy." They will not embark upon enterprises, however arduous and austere, which are likely to involve the martyrdom of their country and the discrediting of their ideals. It is by slower and less showy methods that the new world must be built [...] To find fault with those who urge these considerations, or to accuse them of faint-heartedness, is mere sentimental self-indulgence, sacrificing the good we can do to the satisfaction of our own emotions."
Author: Bertrand Russell
5. "The myth of Christian martyrdom and persecution needs to be corrected, because it has left us with a dangerous legacy that poisons the well of public discourse. This affects not just Christians, but everyone. We cannot use the mere fact that we feel persecuted as evidence that our cause is just or as the grounds for rhetorical or actual war. We cannot use the supposed moral superiority of our ancient martyrs to demonstrate the intrinsic superiority of our modern religious beliefs or ideological positions. Once we recognize that feeling persecuted is not proof of anything, then we have to engage in serious intellectual and moral debate about the actual issues at hand."
Author: Candida Moss
6. "You always were the martyr, weren't you?" The Overlord snickered, and I closed my eyes briefly, relieved and devastated that he was accepting the trade. "So loyal,so brave, so foolishly self-sacrificing. I will see you regret it all before you die.""You failed the last time you tried," London shot back. "I'm quite eager to see if you've improved."
Author: Cayla Kluver
7. "I really am a little afraid, my dear," hinted the cherub meekly, "that you are not enjoying yourself?""On the contrary," returned Mrs. Wilfer, "quite so. Why should I not?""I thought, my dear, that perhaps your face might—""My face might be a martyrdom, but what would that import, or who should know it, if I smiled?"And she did smile; manifestly freezing the blood of Mr. George Sampson by so doing. For that young gentleman, catching her smiling eye, was so very much appalled by its expression as to cast about in his thoughts concerning what he had done to bring it down upon himself."
Author: Charles Dickens
8. "Take the matter as you find it ask no questions, utter no remonstrances; it is your best wisdom. You expected bread and you have got a stone: break your teeth on it, and don't shriek because the nerves are martyrised; do not doubt that your mental stomach - if you have such a thing - is strong as an ostrich's; the stone will digest. You held out your hand for an egg, and fate put into it a scorpion. Show no consternation; close your fingers firmly upon the gift; let it sting through your palm. Never mind; in time, after your hand and arm have swelled and quivered long with torture, the squeezed scorpion will die, and you will have learned the great lesson how to endure without a sob."
Author: Charlotte Brontë
9. "He prizes me as a soldier would a good weapon, and that is all. [...] Can I receive from him the bridal ring, endure all the forms of love [...] and know that the spirit was quite absent? Can I bear the consciousness that every endearment he bestows is a sacrifice made on principle? No: such a martyrdom would be monstrous. I will never undergo it."
Author: Charlotte Brontë
10. "The agony of martyrdom is almost too much to bear. In the early hours, when the loss is fresh, there is no comfort in knowing Glory will live on. We speak of the martyrs in History but we cannot know the actual pain they suffered in their final living hours. They enter the realm of the mythic, but we must never forget these were men like ourselves. When their flesh is torn, they cry out. They suffer as you or I would suffer, although more bravely. Remember Christ. Although I am now an enemy to Joseph's legacy, I shudder when recalling his pain."
Author: David Ebershoff
11. "If we presuppose that Jesus and God are one—as many (but not all) Christians do—then we can also infer that Jesus Christ was omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent, and it is with this that the idea of sacrifice is lost. The martyrdom was premeditated on the part of the Creator, and Jesus was resurrected afterward—showing that the act of ‘death' was not an inconvenience for the immortal ‘man' who was said to have known that he would be resurrected."
Author: David G. McAfee
12. "[...]not even dying a martyr's death is classified as extraordinary obedience when you are following a Savior who died on a cross."
Author: David Platt
13. "The page is as white as my face after a night of weeping. It is as sterile as my devastated mind. All martyrdoms are in vain. He also is drowning in the blood of too much sacrifice.Lay aside the weapons, love, for all battles are lost."
Author: Elizabeth Smart
14. "...as if he had turned into one of those sarcophagi lined with bristling nails. He wanted to flee himself, unshackle himself from the excruciating substance he was made of, but he was trapped inside the martyred flesh."
Author: Félix J. Palma
15. "Julian thought he could have stood his lot better if she had been selfish, if she had been an old hag who drank and screamed at him. He walked along, saturated in depression, as if in the midst of his martyrdom he had lost his faith."
Author: Flannery O'Connor
16. "She appeared to adore Thomas's repugnance to her and to draw it out of him every chance she got as if it added delectably to her martyrdom."
Author: Flannery O'Connor
17. "Christ has come into the world to lay out a garden wherein, amid splendor and abundance, there should thrive the violet of humanity, the myrtle of mortification, the rose of love, the lily of virginal souls, the laurel of confessors and the palm of martyrs."
Author: Fr James Groenings
18. "It is not easy to explain why God permits evil; but it is impossible for an atheist to explain the existence of goodness. How could a spiritless, soul-less, cross-less, Godless universe become the center of faith, purity, sacrifice, and martyrdom? How can decency be the decent thing if there is no God? Since God is love, why should we be surprised that want of it should end in pain, hate, broken hearts, and war?"
Author: Fulton J. Sheen
19. "Martyrdom"
Author: George Eliot
20. "...and there the storiesOf martyrs awed, as Spagnoletto taintedHis brush with all the blood of all the sainted."
Author: George Gordon Byron
21. "Beyond all the other reasons not to do it, free speech assaults always backfire: they transform bigots into martyrs."
Author: Glenn Greenwald
22. "Her religion--perhaps, Alwyn thought, American Christianity as a whole--was a religion of ideal prose; all the beauty it had was the elegance of a perfect law, a Napoleonic code. It deified Jesus, but deified Him as a social leader and teacher martyred for His virtue, a compassionate attorney at the right hand of God the judge, and a fulfillment of the half-political prophecies of the Old Testament--whose jurisprudence of hygiene, family relations, patriotism, and commerce, its morality resembled."
Author: Glenway Wescott
23. "And there you sit, gloating over what you have done, as if you were a martyr or a public benefactor -- as complacent and smug and misunderstood as a princess from the moon forced to herd goats!"
Author: Hope Mirrlees
24. "People genuinely happy in their choices seem less often tempted to force them on other people than those who feel martyred and broken by their lives."
Author: Jane Rule
25. "Dying is easy. Anyone can throw themselves onto the pyre and rest a happy martyr. Enduring the suffering that comes with sacrifice is the real test."
Author: Jay Kristoff
26. "Feast of Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr, the man who will not act until he knows all will never act at all."
Author: Jim Elliot
27. "I tell you, to be honest, every single one of us, without any exaggeration, every single one of us was 100 percent sure that we would all be... all be martyred, but you know, Allah chooses to take a person's life when he chooses. And we have no control over."
Author: John Walker Lindh
28. "The long matrimonial haul was accomplished in cycles. One cycle of bad breath, one cycle of renewed desire, a third cycle of breakdown and small avoidances, still another of plays and dinners that spurred a conversation between them late at night that reminded her of their like minds and the pleasure they took in each other's talk. And then back to hating him for not taking out the garbage on Wednesday. That was the struggle. Sickness and death, caretaking, the martyrdom of matrimony--that was fluff stuff. When the vows kick in, you don't even blink. You just do. She had to be up for it."
Author: Joshua Ferris
29. "Surely martyrs, irrespective of the special phase of the divine idea for which they gladly give up their bodies to torture and to death, are the truest heroes of history."
Author: Katharine Lee Bates
30. "A martyr's just a casualty with really good PR."
Author: Mira Grant
31. "We will not stop resisting the occupation until liberation or martyrdom."
Author: Muqtada Al Sadr
32. "It shouldn't be difficult, then, to make the transposition at this point into the early Christian vision of Jesus and the Spirit and the way in which the material world is both celebrated and renewed through their work. The Jewish basis for the early Christian patterns of belief and behavior is clear. It is important that God's people are embodied, because God made this world and has no intention of abandoning it. The material of creation is a vessel made to be filled with God's new life and glory, even though the transformation may involve suffering, persecution, and martyrdom."
Author: N. T. Wright
33. "And to crown the whole, you must needs come back and make a martyr of yourself, so now anyone who cares a farthing for your life must watch you hanged; that is, if they do not decide to make a spectacle of it and draw and quarter you in the fine old style. I suppose you would go to it like Harrison, 'as cheerful as any man could do in that condition.' Well, I should not be damned cheerful, and neither should anyone else who loved you, and some of them can knock down half of London Town if they should choose."
Author: Naomi Novik
34. "It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr."
Author: Napoleon
35. "Christian legend later claimed that Peter also went to Rome and there became head of the Christian community, that is, a bishop. Both Peter and Paul, according to the Catholic version, died as martyrs in the Eternal City. Paul definitely went to Rome, and may have been martyred there. But that Peter, a very devout, timid Jewish fisherman, uneducated, and knowing little or no Greek, and no Latin, would have ended in Rome is most unlikely. Thus the whole claim of later bishops of Rome (the popes) that their authority in the Church was derived from its alleged first bishop, Saint Peter, was likely wishful thinking, if not an absolute hoax, that developed in the late second century A.D."
Author: Norman F. Cantor
36. "Judaism was a legal religion in the Roman Empire; Christianity was not until the first Christian emperor ascended the throne in the fourth century A.D. There were periodic persecutions of the Christians by the imperial state and local officials. The resulting martyrs, often upper-class women of unusual devotion, only served to draw more attention and converts to the Church."
Author: Norman F. Cantor
37. "In the narrative of his third voyage Columbus wrote: "For I believe that the earthly Paradise lies here, which no one can enter except by God's leave." As for the people of this land, Peter Martyr would write as early as 1505: "They seem to live in that golden world of which old writers speak so much, wherein men lived simply and innocently without enforcement of laws, without quarreling, judges, or libels, content only to satisfy nature." Or as the ever present Montaigne would write: "In my opinion, what we actually see in these nations not only surpasses all the pictures which the poets have drawn of the Golden Age, and all their inventions representing the then happy state of mankind, but also the conception and desire of philosophy itself."
Author: Paul Auster
38. "... the Istiqlal was powerful, which did not at all coincide with his conception of it, nor with the picture the organization painted of itself: a purely defensive group of selfless martyrs who were willing to brave the brutality of the French in order to bring hope to their suffering countrymen."
Author: Paul Bowles
39. "If the Pentateuch is inspired, the civilization of of our day is a mistake and crime. There should be no political liberty. Heresy should be trodden out beneath the bigot's brutal feet. Husbands should divorce their wives at will, and make the mothers of their children houseless and weeping wanderers. Polygamy ought to be practiced; women should become slaves; we should buy the sons and daughters of the heathen and make them bondmen and bondwomen forever. We should sell our own flesh and blood, and have the right to kill our slaves. Men and women should be stoned to death for laboring on the seventh day. 'Mediums,' such as have familiar spirits, should be burned with fire. Every vestige of mental liberty should be destroyed, and reason's holy torch extinguished in the martyr's blood."
Author: Robert G. Ingersoll
40. "He was breaking his fast on white wine and raw onions, in order to keep up the character of martyr, I conclude."
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
41. "Take away the contests of the martyrs, and you have taken away their crowns."
Author: Saint Ambrose
42. "I know why you do what you do, and I get it. But from one ex-martyr to a current martyr...get over your bullshit and ask for help."
Author: Samantha Young
43. "A pastor friend of mine said, "Our problem is that we no longer have martyrs. We only have celebrities."
Author: Shane Claiborne
44. "Arendt, as we have seen, is committed to understanding totalitarianism in its complete novelty, as an unprecedented phenomenon. It is unprecedented in the strict sense that it does not just represent a novel variation with respect to the categories defining forms of government that we have long held… historically, mankind ‘even in its darkest periods, granted the slain enemy the right to be remembered, as a self-evident acknowledgment of the fact that we are all men' (Arendt 1968a: 452). What was attempted in the camps was neither punishment nor persecution but obliteration, such that even death was robbed of its meaning, ‘making martyrdom, for the first time in history, impossible."
Author: Steve Buckler
45. "You have a martyr complex, you know that?" "Course I do. I'm Catholic"."
Author: T. Baggins
46. "A martyr is, he who has become the instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, not lost it but found it, for he has found freedom in submission to God. The martyr no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of martyrdom."
Author: T.S. Eliot
47. "The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs... In fact, the Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea? He who thinks he does, only deceives himself. He proves, also, that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck.[Letter to James Smith discussing Jefferson's hate of the doctrine of the Christian trinity, December 8 1822]"
Author: Thomas Jefferson
48. "I SIT and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame; I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done; I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate; I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer of young women; I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid—I see these sights on the earth; 5I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and prisoners; I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest; I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like; All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon, See, hear, and am silent."
Author: Walt Whitman
49. "Sail, sail thy best, ship of democracy,Of value is thy freight, 'tis not the present only,The past is also stored in thee,Thou holdest not the venture of thyself alone, not of the western continent alone,Earth's resume entire floats upon thy keel, O ship, is steadied by thy spars,With thee Time voyages in trust, the antecedent nations sink or swim with thee,With all their ancient struggles , martyrs, heroes, epics, wars, thou bear'st the other continents,Theirs, theirs as much as thine, the destination-port triumphant.."
Author: Walt Whitman
50. "If there is any intelligence guiding this universe, philosophy wishes to know and understand it and reverently work with it; if there is none, philosophy wishes to know that also, and face it without fear. If the stars are but transient coagulations of haphazard nebulae, if life is a colloidal accident, impersonally permanent and individually fleeting, if man is only a compound of chemicals, destined to disintegrate and utterly disappear, if the creative ecstasy of art, and the gentle wisdom of the sage, and the willing martyrdom of saints are but bright incidents in the protoplasmic pullulation of the earth, and death is the answer to every problem and the destiny of every soul--then philosophy will face that too, and try to find within that narrowed circle some significance and nobility for man."
Author: Will Durant

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And Stormgren hoped that when Karellen was free to walk once more on Earth, he would one day come to these northern forests, and stand beside the grave of the first man to be his friend."
Author: Arthur C. Clarke

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