"I am a Christian and we commit no wrongdoing."
-- Blandina, slave; repeatedly to her torturers who exhausted themselves in the face of her steadfast faith
"That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence at the more terrible universal tribunal of Our Lord and Savior."
-- Justin Martyr, apologist, Saint; to the Prefect Rusticus after the prefect had threatened Justin with "torture without mercy;" from the trial transcript by Tatian (A.D. 165).
"Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols."
-- Six companions of Justin Martyr, martyrs all; speaking to the Prefect Rusticus after he threatened them with "torture without mercy" unless they sacrificed to the Roman "gods;" from the trial transcript by Tatian (A.D. 165).
"If you should acknowledge and love Christ you would give up not only all the treasures of this life, but even the glory of your crown itself to win eternal life."
-- Saints Crispin and Crispinian, to Emperor Maximianus after he had used threats and bribes in an attempt to persuade them to renounce their faith; their martyrdom gained them heaven; Maximianus, after losing his crown, killed himself in despair.
"I am come here to die, being a Catholic, a priest, and a religious man, belonging to the Order of St. Benedict; it was by this same order that England was converted."
-- Mark Barkworth, convert, priest, martyr, Venerable; in comments to the crowd just before he was drawn and quartered at Tyburn on the first Tuesday of Lent, 1601.
"You may make the hearing of a blessed Mass treason, or the saying of an Ave Maria treason...but I have committed no treason, although, indeed, I suffer the punishment due to treason."
-- John Bodey, Venerable, English martyr; on the scaffold, upon hearing he was being executed for "treason".
"We consider that iron for this cause borne on earth shall surmount gold and precious stones in Heaven."
-- John Bodey, Venerable, English martyr; in a letter from prison, describing the honor he and his companions felt for bearing chains and imprisonment for the Catholic faith.
"The Majesty of God is greater."
-- Thomas Woodhouse, Blessed, priest and English martyr; to his examiners who had just described the majesty of Queen Elizabeth as "great"; he was then sentenced to death and disemboweled alive.
"The longer it lasts the better it will be."
-- Theo Venard, Blessed, missionary priest, martyr in China; to his executioner, who had just asked Venard what he would give to be killed quickly because the executioner coveted Venard's clothing. Fr. Venard was beheaded.
"Lord, show me Thy ways."
-- Thaddaeus Daly, O.S.F., who was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Limerick, 1 January, 1579; witnesses report that his head when cut off distinctly uttered these words.
-- John Southworth, Venerable, priest, English martyr; tried at the Old Bailey, his response to the accusation of being a Catholic priest, whereupon he was condemned to death and sent to the gallows at Tyburn
"Let us go, my friends, for the sake of God."
-- Father Captier, Dominican superior of the College of Arcueil, to his 12 companions (Dominican priests and laymen), imprisoned by the Paris Commune for being prominent members of the Church, as they were being ordered into the street one by one. There they were murdered and defiled by the mob on May 25, 1871, just hours before the commune stronghold fell to the regular army that was advancing from Versailles.
"I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me."
-- Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun; to her executioner, on mounting the scaffold; one of the 16 Teresian Martyrs of Compiegne guillotined on July 17, 1794 in Paris during the murderous Reign of Terror.
"Enough, gentlemen, my last word is this: the guillotine seems set up for good. Take me there. An oath against my conscience you will never get from me."
-- Sister Eugenie, Saint
, of the Daughters of Wisdom; to the Revolutionary Committee of La Rochelle, during the murderous Reign of Terror in France.