Nowhere do we see the martyrs being distressed
praying insistently, for example, that God rescue them. On the contrary, they pray that He give them strength to bear all the torments, to not lose heart, to not be misled, to not be afraid –but rather to be able to struggle valiantly. And later of course they rejoiced at all these things and chiefly they relished the martyrdom. In some way, the cruelty of the mar- tyrdom in many circumstances made them feel at that moment the coming of God’s glory and light, the coming down of crowns of martyrdom, such as in the case of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste that we are going to celebrate
Salvation isn’t in being exempt from the passions. Salvation is in while passing through them –which may be cruel and unclean– you learn to believe, to love God without self-interest, so that your soul, fi- nally, is saved from the death of sin, that you are res- urrected, that you live eternally.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos (†)
From the book: Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos, “SPIRITUAL MESSAGES” Panorama Thessaloniki, 2017