“Grant me no more than to be a sacrifice for God while there is an altar at hand.” – Ignatius of Antioch
Our word “martyrdom” comes from the Greek word meaning “witness.” A martyr is one who bears witness with his life to the truth of the gospel.
Ignatius of Antioch longed for martyrdom. Not because he longed for death, but because he longed to give that ultimate witness to the God he loved. He knew the cost of following Jesus and he was willing to pay it: to take up his cross, and follow his Lord.
In one sense, we are all called to be martyrs. We are called to be witnesses of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter what the circumstances and no matter what the cost.