Now, after he had won the crown of martyrdom (though with no longer a head to wear it on), the point might be looked upon as settled.
His son, too, inherited the persecuting spirit, and made himself so conspicuous in the martyrdom of the witches, that their blood may fairly be said to have left a stain upon him.
She was patient—a martyr, indeed but she forebore to pray for enemies, lest, in spite of her forgiving aspirations, the words of the blessing should stubbornly twist themselves into a curse.
Here, she said to herself had been the scene of her guilt, and here should be the scene of her earthly punishment; and so, perchance, the torture of her daily shame would at length purge her soul, and work out another purity than that which she had lost: more saint-like, because the result of martyrdom.
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Many believe that all of the Apostles were martyred except John; however, the Bible reports only on the martyrdom of James.
For 250 years it was a martyrs’ church; the persecutions were fueled by the refusal of Christians to worship the state and the Roman emperor.
History of Christianity - Wikipedia -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity(retrieved 05/20/06)