I need some help, please. I have heard of saints who weren’t afraid and/or looked forward to death. Can someone tell me who these saints were? And maybe a quote or writing about it? Thanks.
I’m sure that applies to many many people and not just those who are canonised.
As for me, I don’t want to die soon but I’m not afraid of death coming.
I’m very sure it applies to a lot of people, myself included. I’m in therapy for anxiety and depression. Why they have diagnosed me with depression is because I told them that I look forward to death. They asked me if I planned on harming myself and I told them, “HECK NO, just Heaven will be much better than this place.” They all gave me a puzzled look on their face. They don’t get it. I just wanted something credible to give them so they don’t think I’m a nut case for not being afraid to die. lol.
St. Paul wrote (in Philippians 1:21-26):
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
These are saints who went to their death unafraid to bear witness to God. Some of them are:
St. Thomas Moore
St. Joan of Arc
St. John The Baptist
A very good book is “The lives of the Saints”. It can be purchaded through EWTN. Not that expensive either, for a two volume set.
I am not sure if ‘looking forward’ to death is the right expression, but many saints and martyrs where actually happy when their time came.
I recently had posted the story of St. John Roberts, which is only one of the examples and with quite amusing and inspiring ending.
Just to be historically precise - St. Joan of Arc was sentenced to be burned, but, in a moment of weakness, she recanted her testimony and confessed to her charges because of her fear. She subsequently withdrew her confession, and bravely faced her execution with no sign of fear. It is said that, upon her death, one of her (English Catholic) executioners exclaimed to another, “We have burned a Saint!”
Alas. Catholics burning Catholics. A sad chapter in Church history.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch
St. Ignatius of Antioch is the glaring example that comes to mind and really stands out.
Here is a link to St. Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to the Romans. newadvent.org/fathers/0107.htm
Epistle to the Romans
Chapter 4. Allow me to fall a prey to the wild beasts
I write to the Churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless you hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will towards me. Allow me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, ….