I was always taught that the Church recognized that not everyone was called to be a martyr. Mit Brennender Sorge seems to be saying a similiar sort of thing in section 34. In many conflicts like WWII people have been faced with either apostasy or martyrdom. What is the official teaching? Are Catholics required to become martyrs?
Most people are not called to be martyrs, although we are all called to be saints. Should one be put in a situation in which one must choose between apostasy or martyrdom, then one can know that God has chosen martyrdom for him or her. Here, to choose martyrdom is really to choose life because one is choosing God.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.