Is it a sin to give your life for others?

I just couldn’t find a quick answer from google but do Catholics believe it’s a sin to give your life for others? Kind of like the common hero type situation where a ship is sinking and you have to stay behind so others can get out. Is this considered a sin or even suicide? Was just wondering,


I don’t think so. Isn’t there that one Bible verse, “Blessed is he who gives his life for a friend” or something like that?

John 15:13

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

My vote would be that it is not a sin. You are not choosing to die, you are choosing to save someone.

St. Maximilian Kolbe did exactly that and volunteered his life to save a father and husband from dying in a forced starving at a concentration camp.

No, it’s not a sin.

There was just a thread on this very recently, though i couldn’t find it. I thought it was in the philosophy section.

Short answer - no.

Try searching using various keywords, you might find a good read.

This would not be a sin. This is the greatest sacrifice a person can give. The intention has to be that they are risking themselves for the benefit and life of others, not some sort of means to escape life as in suicide. Many have let themselves be killed for the safety of others, or the life of others. There can be no greater sacrifice.

yes it is if you did it to be a super-hero. not if you did it out of love and respect for the sanctity of another’s life.

in all things, God sees the depths of the heart

No, it is not a sin to give your life for others. That is precisely what Jesus did when He died on the Cross to redeem us.

That said, the Bible says this:

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
(John 15:12-15 RSV-CE)

Jesus Christ gave his life for others. Jesus said one time we should pick up our cross and follow him.

You mention the situation of someone staying on a sinking ship to save others instead. This exact thing was done by a Catholic priest when the Titanic sank. He refused to escape on on a lifeboat and gave spiritual help for those about to die, leading those left behind in the ship in prayer and hearing the confessions of those about to die. The Pope called him a martyr.

His story if you are interested in hearing more about him is told at [](
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