When reading the stories of these martyrs on the Patron Saint Index, I had to smile when I read
less than a century, it (the Korean Church) could boast of 10,000 martyrs.It struck me how strange this must sound to most people. What kind of organization says "within less than a hundred years, 10,000 of or members were tortured and killed....want to join?" and yet the Catholic Church is so very proud of these men and women.
Perhaps it is because we, as a Church, are supposed to focus on things not of this world. Perhaps it is because we are raised from childhood to admire those who have won a martyrs crown. Notice that I say they "won" it. Is it strange to think that someone who was tortured and beheaded is the victor? I suppose it depends upon your perspective. If you are of the world, then those who died have lost their lives. If you are concerned with God, then those who died have gained their lives.
It is a point of view which most people in our self-centered culture can not understand. How can we take such joy and hope from the death of our brethren? It is because we place our hope on something bigger than today. Our hope is on Eternity, and that is why we rejoice in those who arrive there victorious.