Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Thursday 18 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Helen
Aleteia logo
Travel
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Meet the Holy Martyrs, in images

SAINT AGATA

Public Domain

Athenais Clicquot - published on 02/23/18

These classic iconographic representations of the martyrs are all based on the Martyrologium Romanum.

A martyr is, in the strictest sense, a witness. In fact, the Greek word μάρτυς means precisely that. Bearing witness, in ancient times, would not necessarily lead to the death of the witness. But we can see, from the texts of more than one classical historian such as Josephus as well as from the accounts in the Acts of the Apostles, that witnesses often died because of the testimony they gave. The first saints commemorated by the Church were martyrs.

In Christian tradition, martyrdom is understood as the most perfect way to imitate Jesus, since He Himself willingly gave his life. It is no surprise, then, that Christian martyrs had been, throughout history and to this day, crucified, dismembered, burned, mutilated, and suffered many terrible torments. And it should be no surprise either that artists from all ages have turned the representation of the Holy Martyrs into one of the most popular motifs of Christian art.

Click on the first image to see the slideshow:

This article first appeared in the French edition of Aleteia.

Tags:
ArtSaints
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.