Martyrdom is a term employed by Christian ecclesiastical writers to record the suffering of death on account of one's adherence to the faith of the Gospel. See MARTYR. Iln times of persecution, martyrdom came to be thought so meritorious that it acquired the name of second baptism, or baptism in blood, because of the power and efficacy it was supposed to have in saving men by the invisible baptism of the Spirit, in the absence of the external element of water. In any case in which a catechumen was apprehended and slain for the name of Christ before he could be admitted among the faithful by baptism, his martyrdom was deemed sufficient to answer all the purposes of the sacrament. In the writings of Prosper there is an epigram to this effect:
"Franudati non sunt sacro baptismate Christi, Fons qnibus ilpsa sui salnguinis unda fnit; Et quicquid sacii fert mystica forma lavacri, Id totum implevit gloria martyrii."
"They are not deprived of the sacred baptism of Christ who, instead of a font, are washed in their own blood; for whatever benefit accrues to any by the mystical rite of the sacred laver, is all fulfilled by the glory of martyrdom." The martyrs were supposed to enjoy very singular privileges; in some ages the doctrine was taught that immediately on death they passed to the enjoyment of the beatific vision, for which other Christians were required to wait till the day of judgment; and that God would grant to their prayers the hastening of his kingdom and the shortening the times of persecution.