Saints and martyrs had never interested Maggie so much as sages and poets.
She knew little of saints and martyrs, and had gathered, as a general result of her teaching, that they were a temporary provision against the spread of Catholicism, and had all died at Smithfield.
That is the path we all like when we set out on our abandonment of egoism,—the path of martyrdom and endurance, where the palm-branches grow, rather than the steep highway of tolerance, just allowance, and self-blame, where there are no leafy honors to be gathered and worn.
The suffering, whether of martyr or victim, which belongs to every historical advance of mankind, is represented in this way in every town, and by hundreds of obscure hearths; and we need not shrink from this comparison of small things with great; for does not science tell us that its highest striving is after the ascertainment of a unity which shall bind the smallest things with the greatest?
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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)