Can a person become a martyr even though they didnt see it coming?
one example: What if someone in the U.S. decided to REALLY not like Catholics and bomb a church. The people who died werent expecting to be killed for their beliefs, are they still martyrs?
Follow up question is... what if they were C and E Catholics and they had a mortal sin on their soul at the time, thus dying before confession?
Personally, i'm not sure...
I believe a martyr has to have shown heroic virtue, so, a shooting at a church wouldn't necessarily make a martyr, unless their attendance required heroic virtue, for example, if it was dangerous to attend Mass because it was illegal.
Anyone who dies in a state of mortal sin, will suffer eternal punishment. I believe the popes promised a plenary indulgence to any crusader who was killed in the fight for the Holy Land, as long as they'd been baptized, of course, and in a state of grace when they were killed.
I forgot about Thomas Becket.. He was killed in the "line of duty" so to speak. What about the slaughtered innocents? I never considered them martyrs in the strict sense, but the Novus Ordo labels them such.
I think someone could make a case for St. Thomas knowing that his position was a dangerous one, requiring heroic virtue. As for the Holy Innocents, I confess I neither understand their being called martyrs, nor dispute it!