The mission of the martyr

"A Christian martyrdom is never an accident, for saints are not made by accident. Still less is a Christian martyrdom the effect of man’s will to become a saint, as a man by willing and contriving may become a ruler of men. A martyrdom is always the design of God, for His love of men, to warn them and to lead them, to bring them back to His ways. It is never the design of man; for the true martyr is he who has become the instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, and who no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of becoming a martyr."

Thomas Becket in Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral