Baptism of blood


#1

As I understand it, Catholicism says that dying as a martyr acts as a "baptism of blood" for the unbaptized, and they are considered to have been baptized at the instant of their death and thus cleared of all sins.

Do martyrs need to die for their own faith, though? Would a non-Christian who sacrifices his or her self to defend Christians from persecution count as a martyr and thus receive a baptism of blood? Additionally, does self-sacrifice with no religious motivation have any inherent redemptive qualities?

Thanks!


#2

We have no ABSOLUTE idea as to who is saved and who is not, God could save
non-Christians if they fight to protect the lives of Christians and so forth, BUT WE
DON'T KNOW!

One does not have to die for the faith to be saved, unless one is put in a position to either live &
betray God or die & be faithful. Consider the early Christians who were thrown to the lions. How
would it make sense for one of them to cry, "Okay, I've had enough, Glory to Caesar in the High-
est!," be spared the lions, and be saved? Christ condemns such hypocrites. We are also told by
Christ (in Matthew 24:13) that we who endure to the bitter end will be saved.


#3

[quote="RubyAndOnyx, post:1, topic:346876"]
As I understand it, Catholicism says that dying as a martyr acts as a "baptism of blood" for the unbaptized, and they are considered to have been baptized at the instant of their death and thus cleared of all sins.

Do martyrs need to die for their own faith, though? Would a non-Christian who sacrifices his or her self to defend Christians from persecution count as a martyr and thus receive a baptism of blood? Additionally, does self-sacrifice with no religious motivation have any inherent redemptive qualities?

Thanks!

[/quote]

As was previously said, we do not know all that God considers in determining an individual's salvation outside of Baptism. However, it is reasonable to believe that a person who is perhaps not of any particular theology at all and who has never had the opportunity to be Baptized but who lives according to the inherent principles of morality instilled in us by God and who under such circumstances selflessly sacrifices his or her own life in an attempt to help others, could reach salvation, but that is not Baptism by blood.

In order for there to be "Baptism by Blood", the death must have been for the sake of the faith without yet having had the opportunity to have been Baptised and are then baptized by their death for and with Christ.

As far as Baptism and Baptism by Blood, see the following from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery." Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.


#4

Thank you both! You've definitely answered my second question.

The first one, though... the vagueness of "those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism" is what's got me curious. A non-Christian who gave his or her life to defend Christians from persecution without actually sharing their beliefs would seem to meet the criteria for a baptism of blood. Does anyone know of anything that confirms or rules out this possibility?


#5

[quote="RubyAndOnyx, post:4, topic:346876"]
Thank you both! You've definitely answered my second question.

The first one, though... the vagueness of "those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism" is what's got me curious. A non-Christian who gave his or her life to defend Christians from persecution without actually sharing their beliefs would seem to meet the criteria for a baptism of blood. Does anyone know of anything that confirms or rules out this possibility?

[/quote]

Well what do you mean by "baptism"? Do you mean with water? Dying for the Faith is
Baptism. If one has never been baptized by water, but in that final moment within the
Colosseum, thousands of people cheering as the lions circle, and that one refuses to
give up his faith in Jesus Christ, then dies for it, HE HAS BEEN BAPTIZED! :D

(Kinda the point of Baptism by Blood)

As for those who died in unbelief, WE DO NOT KNOOW!


#6

[quote="RubyAndOnyx, post:1, topic:346876"]
As I understand it, Catholicism says that dying as a martyr acts as a "baptism of blood" for the unbaptized, and they are considered to have been baptized at the instant of their death and thus cleared of all sins.

Do martyrs need to die for their own faith, though? Would a non-Christian who sacrifices his or her self to defend Christians from persecution count as a martyr and thus receive a baptism of blood? Additionally, does self-sacrifice with no religious motivation have any inherent redemptive qualities?

Thanks!

[/quote]

To (fully) be a Christian, one must be baptized. So even if one didn't quite believe in the Christian faith, yet died to protect it, it's definitely possible for Baptism of blood to apply.

Self sacrifice, even without belief, can't hurt one's salvation.

PS. How nice it is to meet a non-militant atheist! You may have just made my day. :thumbsup::)


#7

This is just my personal opinion, so please take with a grain of salt.

When I read your question, I thought of the verse that says "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend." Ideally, we should all be willing of offer our life even for an enemy. In which case the nonbeliever would certainly exemplify great love and tremendous self-sacrifice, which are certainly good in the eyes of God.

As far as the act being considered "baptism by blood," it would depend on the intention of the martyr. The term "baptism" in general would imply that the martyr would seek to become a follower of Christ, whereas he may not wish to do so, and God does not baptize people against their will. Okay, maybe that was phrased poorly because we baptize babies :p so I'll put it this way:

God allows us free will in whether to follow Him or not, and although He loves us deeply and wants us to be with Him, God doesn't force any of us to be with Him for eternity if that's not what we wanted during our life. If someone has such great love that they give their life for a Christian, it would be considered an incredible and heroic act and would certainly count in one's favor, it is impossible to judge whether or not that person would be saved.

Only God knows what is in that person's heart and their reasons for their unbelief, and while He is just, He is also merciful. As for Baptism by Blood I'm not sure.


#8

Thanks, everyone! :D

PS. How nice it is to meet a non-militant atheist! You may have just made my day.

Yay! :tiphat: I'm the least militant atheist ever - I actually think religion is cool and endlessly fascinating.


#9

[quote="RubyAndOnyx, post:1, topic:346876"]
As I understand it, Catholicism says that dying as a martyr acts as a "baptism of blood" for the unbaptized, and they are considered to have been baptized at the instant of their death and thus cleared of all sins.

Do martyrs need to die for their own faith, though? Would a non-Christian who sacrifices his or her self to defend Christians from persecution count as a martyr and thus receive a baptism of blood? Additionally, does self-sacrifice with no religious motivation have any inherent redemptive qualities?

Thanks!

[/quote]

Baptism of Blood applies to NON-Catholics dying for the Catholic Faith.

CCC 1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.


#10

[quote="RubyAndOnyx, post:4, topic:346876"]
Thank you both! You've definitely answered my second question.

The first one, though... the vagueness of "those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism" is what's got me curious. A non-Christian who gave his or her life to defend Christians from persecution without actually sharing their beliefs would seem to meet the criteria for a baptism of blood. Does anyone know of anything that confirms or rules out this possibility?

[/quote]

[FONT=Arial]**Christian Initiation **
*CCC 1229 From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion. *

Here is a link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church in regard to Baptism vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a1.htm

[/FONT]
For one to be baptized in general there is the belief that the person has been introduced to Christ and intends sincerely to repent their sins and amend their life to a life of Christ because to be baptized is to be baptized into Christ. Baptism by blood refers most fittingly to those who have this desire. For example, if a person has rejected Christ or the opportunity to come to know Him but looses their life in an attempt to save others, it certainly would not be a baptism by blood while the person remains in full rejection of Christ. On the other hand, if a person is seeking with sincere intentions to learn about Christ, to grow in Christ or has that desire but looses their life to help others without having been afforded that opportunity, such may then be a Baptism by Blood under the conditions said earlier quoted in the Catechism. However, we do not under any circumstances attempt to determine judgment of any soul as no one knows the mind of God or all the circumstances by which He judges each person.


#11

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