Summa - Supplement 1923
Objection 1: It would seem that a fruit is not due to the virtue of continence alone. For a gloss on 1Co 15,41, "One is the glory of the sun," says that "the worth of those who have the hundredfold fruit is compared to the glory of the sun; to the glory of the moon those who have the sixtyfold fruit; and to the stars those who have the thirtyfold fruit." Now this difference of glory, in the meaning of the Apostle, regards any difference whatever of beatitude. Therefore the various fruits should correspond to none but the virtue of continence.
Objection 2: Further, fruits are so called from fruition. But fruition belongs to the essential reward which corresponds to all the virtues. Therefore, etc.
Objection 3: Further, fruit is due to labor: "The fruit of good labors is glorious" (Sg 3,15). Now there is greater labor in fortitude than in temperance or continence. Therefore fruit does not correspond to continence alone.
Objection 4: Further, it is more difficult not to exceed the measure in food which is necessary for life, than in sexual matters without which life can be sustained: and thus the labor of frugality is greater than that of continence. Therefore fruit corresponds to frugality rather than to continence.
Objection 5: Further, fruit implies delight, and delight regards especially the end. Since then the theological virtues have the end for their object, namely God Himself, it would seem that to them especially the fruit should correspond.
On the contrary, is the statement of the gloss on Mt 13,23, "The one a hundredfold," which assigns the fruits to virginity, widowhood, and conjugal continence, which are parts of continence.
I answer that, A fruit is a reward due to a person in that he passes from the carnal to the spiritual life. Consequently a fruit corresponds especially to that virtue which more than any other frees man from subjection to the flesh. Now this is the effect of continence, since it is by sexual pleasures that the soul is especially subject to the flesh; so much so that in the carnal act, according to Jerome (Ep ad Ageruch.), "not even the spirit of prophecy touches the heart of the prophet," nor "is it possible to understand anything in the midst of that pleasure," as the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 11). Therefore fruit corresponds to continence rather than to another virtue.
Reply to Objection 1: This gloss takes fruit in a broad sense, according as any reward is called a fruit.
Reply to Objection 2: Fruition does not take its name from fruit by reason of any comparison with fruit in the sense in which we speak of it now, as evidenced by what has been said.
Reply to Objection 3: Fruit, as we speak of it now, corresponds to labor not as resulting in fatigue, but as resulting in the production of fruit. Hence a man calls his crops his labor, inasmuch as he labored for them, or produced them by his labor. Now the comparison to fruit, as produced from seed, is more adapted to continence than to fortitude, because man is not subjected to the flesh by the passions of fortitude, as he is by the passions with which continence is concerned.
Reply to Objection 4: Although the pleasures of the table are more necessary than the pleasures of sex, they are not so strong: wherefore the soul is not so much subjected to the flesh thereby.
Reply to Objection 5: Fruit is not taken here in the sense in which fruition applies to delight in the end; but in another sense as stated above (Article ). Hence the argument proves nothing.
Objection 1: It would seem that three fruits are unfittingly assigned to the three parts of continence: because twelve fruits of the Spirit are assigned, "charity, joy, peace," etc. (Ga 5,22). Therefore seemingly we should reckon only three.
Objection 2: Further, fruit denotes a special reward. Now the reward assigned to virgins, widows, and married persons is not a special reward, because all who are to be saved are comprised under one of these three, since no one is saved who lacks continence, and continence is adequately divided by these three. Therefore three fruits are unfittingly assigned to the three aforesaid.
Objection 3: Further, just as widowhood surpasses conjugal continence, so does virginity surpass widowhood. But the excess of sixtyfold over thirtyfold is not as the excess of a hundredfold over sixtyfold; neither in arithmetical proportion, since sixty exceeds thirty by thirty, and a hundred exceeds sixty by forty; nor in geometrical proportion, since sixty is twice thirty and a hundred surpasses sixty as containing the whole and two-thirds thereof. Therefore the fruits are unfittingly adapted to the degrees of continence.
Objection 4: Further, the statements contained in Holy Writ stand for all time: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" (Lc 21,33): whereas human institutions are liable to change every day. Therefore human institutions are not to be taken as a criterion of the statements of Holy Writ: and it would seem in consequence that the explanation of these fruits given by Bede is unfitting. For he says (Expos. in Luc. iii, 8) that "the thirtyfold fruit is assigned to married persons, because in the signs drawn on the 'abacus' the number 30 is denoted by the thumb and index finger touching one another at the tips as though kissing one another: so that the number 30 denotes the embraces of married persons. The number 60 is denoted by the contact of the index finger above the middle joint of the thumb, so that the index finger by lying over the thumb and weighing on it, signifies the burden which widows have to bear in this world. When, however, in the course of enumeration we come to the number 100 we pass from the left to the right hand, so that the number 100 denotes virginity, which has a share in the angelic excellence; for the angels are on the right hand, i.e. in glory, while we are on the left on account of the imperfection of the present life."
I answer that, By continence, to which the fruit corresponds, man is brought to a kind of spiritual nature, by withdrawing from carnal things. Consequently various fruits are distinguished according to the various manners of the spirituality resulting from continence. Now there is a certain spirituality which is necessary, and one which is superabundant. The spirituality that is necessary consists in the rectitude of the spirit not being disturbed by the pleasures of the flesh: and this obtains when one makes use of carnal pleasures according to the order of right reason. This is the spirituality of married persons. Spirituality is superabundant when a man withdraws himself entirely from those carnal pleasures which stifle the spirit. This may be done in two ways: either in respect of all time past, present, and future, and this is the spirituality of virgins; or in respect of a particular time, and this is the spirituality of widows. Accordingly to those who keep conjugal continence, the thirtyfold fruit is awarded; to those who keep the continence of widows, the sixtyfold fruit; and to those who keep virginal continence, the hundredfold fruit: and this for the reason given by Bede quoted above, although another motive may be found in the very nature of the numbers. For 30 is the product of 3 multiplied by 10. Now 3 is the number of everything, as stated in De Coelo et Mundo i, and contains a certain perfection common to all, namely of beginning, middle, and end. Wherefore the number 30 is fittingly assigned to married persons, in whom no other perfection is added to the observance of the Decalogue, signified by the number 10, than the common perfection without which there is no salvation. The number six the multiplication of which by 10 amounts to 60 has perfection from its parts, being the aggregate of all its parts taken together; wherefore it corresponds fittingly to widowhood, wherein we find perfect withdrawal from carnal pleasures as to all its circumstances (which are the parts so to speak of a virtuous act), since widowhood uses no carnal pleasures in connection with any person, place, or any other circumstance; which was not the case with conjugal continence. The number 100 corresponds fittingly to virginity; because the number 10 of which 100 is a multiple is the limit of numbers: and in like manner virginity occupies the limit of spirituality, since no further spirituality can be added to it. The number 100 also being a square number has perfection from its figure: for a square figure is prefect through being equal on all sides, since all its sides are equal: wherefore it is adapted to virginity wherein incorruption is found equally as to all times.
Reply to Objection 1: Fruit is not taken there in the sense in which we are taking it now.
Reply to Objection 2: Nothing obliges us to hold that fruit is a reward that is not common to all who will be saved. For not only the essential reward is common to all, but also a certain accidental reward, such as joy in those works without which one cannot be saved. Yet it may be said that the fruits are not becoming to all who will be saved, as is evidently the case with those who repent in the end after leading an incontinent life, for to such no fruit is due but only the essential reward.
Reply to Objection 3: The distinction of the fruits is to be taken according to the species and figures of the numbers rather than according to their quantity. Nevertheless even if we regard the excess in point of quantity, we may find an explanation. For the married man abstains only from one that is not his, the widow from both hers and not hers, so that in the latter case we find the notion of double, just as 60 is the double of 30. Again 100 is 60 X 40, which latter number is the product of 4 X 10, and the number 4 is the first solid and square number. Thus the addition of this number is fitting to virginity, which adds perpetual incorruption to the perfection of widowhood.
Reply to Objection 4: Although these numerical signs are a human institution, they are founded somewhat on the nature of things, in so far as the numbers are denoted in gradation, according to the order of the aforesaid joints and contacts.
Objection 1: It would seem that an aureole is not due on account of virginity. For where there is greater difficulty in the work, a greater reward is due. Now widows have greater difficulty than virgins in abstaining from the works of the flesh. For Jerome says (Ep ad Ageruch.) that the greater difficulty certain persons experience in abstaining from the allurements of pleasure, the greater their reward, and he is speaking in praise of widows. Moreover, the Philosopher says (De Anim. Hist. vii) that "young women who have been deflowered desire sexual intercourse the more for the recollection of the pleasure." Therefore the aureole which is the greatest reward is due to widows more than to virgins.
Objection 2: Further, if an aureole were due to virginity, it would be especially found where there is the most perfect virginity. Now the most prefect virginity is in the Blessed Virgin, wherefore she is called the Virgin of virgins: and yet no aureole is due to her because she experienced no conflict in being continent, for she was not infected with the corruption of the fomes [*Cf. III 27,3]. Therefore an aureole is not due to virginity.
Objection 3: Further, a special reward is not due to that which has not been at all times praiseworthy. Now it would not have been praiseworthy to observe virginity in the state of innocence, since then was it commanded: "Increase and multiply and fill the earth" (Gn 1,28): nor again during the time of the Law, since the barren were accursed. Therefore an aureole is not due to virginity.
Objection 4: Further, the same reward is not due to virginity observed, and virginity lost. Yet an aureole is sometimes due to lost virginity; for instance if a maiden be violated unwillingly at the order of a tyrant for confessing Christ. Therefore an aureole is not due to virginity.
Objection 5: Further, a special reward is not due to that which is in us by nature. But virginity is inborn in every man both good and wicked. Therefore an aureole is not due to virginity.
Objection 6: Further, as widowhood is to the sixtyfold fruit, so is virginity to the hundredfold fruit, and to the aureole. Now the sixtyfold fruit is not due to every widow, but only, as some say, to one who vows to remain a widow. Therefore it would seem that neither is the aureole due to any kind of virginity, but only to that which is observed by vow.
Objection 7: Further, reward is not given to that which is done of necessity, since all merit depends on the will. But some are virgins of necessity, such as those who are naturally cold-blooded, and eunuchs. Therefore an aureole is not always due to virginity.
On the contrary, A gloss on Ex 25,25: "Thou shalt also make a little golden crown [coronam aureolam]" says: "This crown denotes the new hymn which the virgins sing in the presence of the Lamb, those, to wit, who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." Therefore the reward due to virginity is called an aureole.
Further, It is written (Is 56,4): "Thus saith the Lord to the eunuchs": and the text continues (Is 56,5): "I will give to them . . . a name better than sons and daughters": and a gloss [*St. Augustine, De Virginit. xxv] says: "This refers to their peculiar and transcendent glory." Now the eunuchs "who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 19,12) denote virgins. Therefore it would seem that some special reward is due to virginity, and this is called the aureole.
I answer that, Where there is a notable kind of victory, a special crown is due. Wherefore since by virginity a person wins a signal victory over the flesh, against which a continuous battle is waged: "The flesh lusteth against the spirit," etc. (Ga 5,17), a special crown called the aureole is due to virginity. This indeed is the common opinion of all; but all are not agreed as to the kind of virginity to which it is due. For some say that the aureole is due to the act. So that she who actually remains a virgin will have the aureole provided she be of the number of the saved. But this would seem unreasonable, because in this case those who have the will to marry and nevertheless die before marrying would have the aureole. Hence others hold that the aureole is due to the state and not to the act: so that those virgins alone merit the aureole who by vow have placed themselves in the state of observing perpetual virginity. But this also seems unreasonable, because it is possible to have the same intention of observing virginity without a vow as with a vow. Hence it may be said otherwise that merit is due to every virtuous act commanded by charity. Now virginity comes under the genus of virtue in so far as perpetual incorruption of mind and body is an object of choice, as appears from what has been said above (Sent. iv, D, 33, Question , Articles ,2) [*Cf. III 152,1 III 152,3]. Consequently the aureole is due to those virgins alone, who had the purpose of observing perpetual virginity, whether or no they have confirmed this purpose by vow---and this I say with reference to the aureole in its proper signification of a reward due to merit---although this purpose may at some time have been interrupted, integrity of the flesh remaining withal, provided it be found at the end of life, because virginity of the mind may be restored, although virginity of the flesh cannot. If, however, we take the aureole in its broad sense for any joy added to the essential joy of heaven, the aureole will be applicable even to those who are incorrupt in flesh, although they had not the purpose of observing perpetual virginity. For without doubt they will rejoice in the incorruption of their body, even as the innocent will rejoice in having been free from sin, although they had no opportunity of sinning, as in the case of baptized children. But this is not the proper meaning of an aureole, although it is very commonly taken in this sense.
Reply to Objection 1: In some respects virgins experience a greater conflict in remaining continent; and in other respects, widows, other things being equal. For virgins are inflamed by concupiscence, and by the desire of experience, which arises from a certain curiosity as it were, which makes man more willing to see what he has never seen. Sometimes, moreover, this concupiscence is increased by their esteeming the pleasure to be greater than it is in reality, and by their failing to consider the grievances attaching to this pleasure. In these respects widows experience the lesser conflict, yet theirs is the greater conflict by reason of their recollection of the pleasure. Moreover, in different subjects one motive is stronger than another, according to the various conditions and dispositions of the subject, because some are more susceptible to one, and others to another. However, whatever we may say of the degree of conflict, this is certain---that the virgin's victory is more perfect than the widow's, for the most perfect and most brilliant kind of victory is never to have yielded to the foe: and the crown is due, not to the battle but to the victory gained by the battle.
Reply to Objection 2: There are two opinions about this. For some say that the Blessed Virgin has not an aureole in reward of her virginity, if we take aureole in the proper sense as referring to a conflict, but that she has something more than an aureole, on account of her most perfect purpose of observing virginity. Others say that she has an aureole even in its proper signification, and that a most transcendent one: for though she experienced no conflict, she had a certain conflict of the flesh, but owing to the exceeding strength of her virtue, her flesh was so subdued that she did not feel this conflict. This, however, would seem to be said without reason, for since we believe the Blessed Virgin to have been altogether immune from the inclination of the fomes on account of the perfection of her sanctification, it is wicked to suppose that there was in her any conflict with the flesh, since such like conflict is only from the inclination of the fomes, nor can temptation from the flesh be without sin, as declared by a gloss [*St. Augustine, De Civ. Dei xix, 4] on 2Co 12,7, "There was given me a sting of my flesh." Hence we must say that she has an aureole properly speaking, so as to be conformed in this to those other members of the Church in whom virginity is found: and although she had no conflict by reason of the temptation which is of the flesh, she had the temptation which is of the enemy, who feared not even Christ (Mt 4).
Reply to Objection 3: The aureole is not due to virginity except as adding some excellence to the other degrees of continence. If Adam had not sinned, virginity would have had no perfection over conjugal continence, since in that case marriage would have been honorable, and the marriage-bed unsullied, for it would not have been dishonored by lust: hence virginity would not then have been observed, nor would an aureole have been due to it. But the condition of human nature being changed, virginity has a special beauty of its own, and consequently a special reward is assigned to it.
During the time of the Mosaic law, when the worship of God was to be continued by means of the carnal act, it was not altogether praiseworthy to abstain from carnal intercourse: wherefore no special reward would be given for such a purpose unless it came from a Divine inspiration, as is believed to have been the case with Jeremias and Elias, of whose marriage we do not read.
Reply to Objection 4: If a virgin is violated, she does not forfeit the aureole, provided she retain unfailingly the purpose of observing perpetual virginity, and nowise consent to the act. Nor does she forfeit virginity thereby; and be this said, whether she be violated for the faith, or for any other cause whatever. But if she suffer this for the faith, this will count to her for merit, and will be a kind of martyrdom: wherefore Lucy said: "If thou causest me to be violated against my will, my chastity will receive a double crown" [*Office of S. Lucy; lect. vi of Dominican Breviary, December 13th]; not that she has two aureoles of virginity, but that she will receive a double reward, one for observing virginity, the other for the outrage she has suffered. Even supposing that one thus violated should conceive, she would not for that reason forfeit her virginity: nor would she be equal to Christ's mother, in whom there was integrity of the flesh together with integrity of the mind [*Cf. SS, Question , Article , ad 3; SS, Question , Article , ad 2; SS, Question , Article ].
Reply to Objection 5: Virginity is inborn in us as to that which is material in virginity: but the purpose of observing perpetual incorruption, whence virginity derives its merit, is not inborn, but comes from the gift of grace.
Reply to Objection 6: The sixtyfold fruit is due, not to every widow, but only to those who retain the purpose of remaining widows, even though they do not make it the matter of a vow, even as we have said in regard to virginity.
Reply to Objection 7: If cold-blooded persons and eunuchs have the will to observe perpetual incorruption even though they were capable of sexual intercourse, they must be called virgins and merit the aureole: for they make a virtue of necessity. If, on the other hand, they have the will to marry if they could, they do not merit the aureole. Hence Augustine says (De Sancta Virgin. xxiv): "For those like eunuchs whose bodies are so formed that they are unable to beget, it suffices when they become Christians and keep the commandments of God, that they have a mind to have a wife if they could, in order to rank with the faithful who are married."
Objection 1: It would seem that an aureole is not due to martyrs. For an aureole is a reward given for works of supererogation, wherefore Bede commenting on Ex 25,25, "Thou shalt also make another . . . crown," says: "This may be rightly referred to the reward of those who by freely choosing a more perfect life go beyond the general commandments." But to die for confessing the faith is sometimes an obligation, and not a work of supererogation as appears from the words of Rm 10,10, "With the heart, we believe unto justice, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Therefore an aureole is not always due to martyrdom.
Objection 2: Further, according to Gregory (Moral. ix [*Cf. St. Augustine, De Adult. Conjug. i, 14]) "the freer the service, the more acceptable it is." Now martyrdom has a minimum of freedom, since it is a punishment inflicted by another person with force. Therefore an aureole is not due to martyrdom, since it is accorded to surpassing merit.
Objection 3: Further, martyrdom consists not only in suffering death externally, but also in the interior act of the will: wherefore Bernard in a sermon on the Holy Innocents distinguishes three kinds of martyr---in will and not in death, as John; in both will and death, as Stephen; in death and not in will, as the Innocents. Accordingly if an aureole were due to martyrdom, it would be due to voluntary rather than external martyrdom, since merit proceeds from will. Yet such is not the case. Therefore an aureole is not due to martyrdom.
Objection 4: Further, bodily suffering is less than mental, which consists of internal sorrow and affliction of soul. But internal suffering is also a kind of martyrdom: wherefore Jerome says in a sermon on the Assumption [*Ep. ad Paul. et Eustoch.]: "I should say rightly that the Mother of God was both virgin and martyr, although she ended her days in peace, wherefore: Thine own soul a sword hath pierced---namely for her Son's death." Since then no aureole corresponds to interior sorrow, neither should one correspond to outward suffering.
Objection 5: Further, penance itself is a kind of martyrdom, wherefore Gregory says (Hom. iii in Evang.): "Although persecution has ceased to offer the opportunity, yet the peace we enjoy is not without its martyrdom; since even if we no longer yield the life of the body to the sword, yet do we slay fleshly desires in the soul with the sword of the spirit." But no aureole is due to penance which consists in external works. Neither therefore is an aureole due to every external martyrdom.
Objection 6: Further, an aureole is not due to an unlawful work. Now it is unlawful to lay hands on oneself, as Augustine declares (De Civ. Dei i), and yet the Church celebrates the martyrdom of some who laid hands upon themselves in order to escape the fury of tyrants, as in the case of certain women at Antioch (Eusebius, Eccles. Hist. viii, 24). Therefore an aureole is not always due to martyrdom.
Objection 7: Further, it happens at times that a person is wounded for the faith, and survives for some time. Now it is clear that such a one is a martyr, and yet seemingly an aureole is not due to him, since his conflict did not last until death. Therefore an aureole is not always due to martyrdom.
Objection 8: Further, some suffer more from the loss of temporal goods than from the affliction even of their own body and this is shown by their bearing many afflictions for the sake of gain. Therefore if they be despoiled of their temporal goods for Christ's sake they would seem to be martyrs, and yet an aureole is not apparently due to them. Therefore the same conclusion follows as before.
Objection 9: Further, a martyr would seem to be no other than one who dies for the faith, wherefore Isidore says (Etym. vii): "They are called martyrs in Greek, witnesses in Latin: because they suffered in order to bear witness to Christ, and strove unto death for the truth." Now there are virtues more excellent than faith, such as justice, charity, and so forth, since these cannot be without grace, and yet no aureole is due to them. Therefore seemingly neither is an aureole due to martyrdom.
Objection 1:: Further, even as the truth of faith is from God, so is all other truth, as Ambrose [*Spurious work on 1Co 12,3: "No man can say," etc.] declares, since "every truth by whomsoever uttered is from the Holy Ghost." Therefore if an aureole is due to one who suffers death for the truth of faith, in like manner it is also due to those who suffer death for any other virtue: and yet apparently this is not the case.
Objection 1:: Further, the common good is greater than the good of the individual. Now if a man die in a just war in order to save his country, an aureole is not due to him. Therefore even though he be put to death in order to keep the faith that is in himself, no aureole is due to him: and consequently the same conclusion follows as above.
Objection 1:: Further, all merit proceeds from the free will. Yet the Church celebrates the martyrdom of some who had not the use of the free will. Therefore they did not merit an aureole: and consequently an aureole is not due to all martyrs.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Sancta Virgin. xlvi): "No one, methinks, would dare prefer virginity to martyrdom." Now an aureole is due to virginity, and consequently also to martyrdom.
Further, the crown is due to one who has striven. But in martyrdom the strife presents a special difficulty. Therefore a special aureole is due thereto.
I answer that, Just as in the spirit there is a conflict with the internal concupiscences, so is there in man a conflict with the passion that is inflicted from without. Wherefore, just as a special crown, which we call an aureole, is due to the most perfect victory whereby we triumph over the concupiscences of the flesh, in a word to virginity, so too an aureole is due to the most perfect victory that is won against external assaults. Now the most perfect victory over passion caused from without is considered from two points of view. First from the greatness of the passion. Now among all passions inflicted from without, death holds the first place, just as sexual concupiscences are chief among internal passions. Consequently, when a man conquers death and things directed to death, his is a most perfect victory. Secondly, the perfection of victory is considered from the point of view of the motive of conflict, when, to wit, a man strives for the most honorable cause; which is Christ Himself. Both these things are to be found in martyrdom, which is death suffered for Christ's sake: for "it is not the pain but the cause that makes the martyr," as Augustine says (Contra Crescon. iii). Consequently an aureole is due to martyrdom as well as to virginity.
Reply to Objection 1: To suffer death for Christ's sake, is absolutely speaking, a work of supererogation; since every one is not bound to confess his faith in the face of a persecutor: yet in certain cases it is necessary for salvation, when, to wit, a person is seized by a persecutor and interrogated as to his faith which he is then bound to confess. Nor does it follow that he does not merit an aureole. For an aureole is due to a work of supererogation, not as such, but as having a certain perfection. Wherefore so long as this perfection remains, even though the supererogation cease, one merits the aureole.
Reply to Objection 2: A reward is due to martyrdom, not in respect of the exterior infliction, but because it is suffered voluntarily: since we merit only through that which is in us. And the more that which one suffers voluntarily is difficult and naturally repugnant to the will the more is the will that suffers it for Christ's sake shown to be firmly established in Christ, and consequently a higher reward is due to him.
Reply to Objection 3: There are certain acts which, in their very selves, contain intense pleasure or difficulty: and in such the act always adds to the character of merit or demerit, for as much as in the performance of the act the will, on account of the aforesaid intensity, must needs undergo an alteration from the state in which it was before. Consequently, other things being equal, one who performs an act of lust sins more than one who merely consents in the act, because in the very act the will is increased. In like manner since in the act of suffering martyrdom there is a very great difficulty, the will to suffer martyrdom does not reach the degree of merit due to actual martyrdom by reason of its difficulty: although, indeed it may possibly attain to a higher reward, if we consider the root of merit since the will of one man to suffer martyrdom may possibly proceed from a greater charity than another man's act of martyrdom. Hence one who is willing to be a martyr may by his will merit an essential reward equal to or greater than that which is due to an actual martyr. But the aureole is due to the difficulty inherent to the conflict itself of martyrdom: wherefore it is not due to those who are martyrs only in will.
Reply to Objection 4: Just as pleasures of touch, which are the matter of temperance, hold the chief place among all pleasures both internal and external, so pains of touch surpass all other pains. Consequently an aureole is due to the difficulty of suffering pains of touch, for instance, from blows and so forth, rather than to the difficulty of bearing internal sufferings, by reason of which, however, one is not properly called a martyr, except by a kind of comparison. It is in this sense that Jerome speaks.
Reply to Objection 5: The sufferings of penance are not a martyrdom properly speaking, because they do not consist in things directed to the causing of death, since they are directed merely to the taming of the flesh: and if any one go beyond this measure, such afflictions will be deserving of blame. However such afflictions are spoken of as a martyrdom by a kind of comparison. and they surpass the sufferings of martyrdom in duration but not in intensity.
Reply to Objection 6: According to Augustine (De Civ. Dei i) it is lawful to no one to lay hands on himself for any reason whatever; unless perchance it be done by Divine instinct as an example of fortitude that others may despise death. Those to whom the objection refers are believed to have brought death on themselves by Divine instinct, and for this reason the Church celebrates their martyrdom [*Cf. SS, Question , Article ].
Reply to Objection 7: If any one receive a mortal wound for the faith and survive, without doubt he merits the aureole: as instanced in blessed Cecilia who survived for three days, and many martyrs who died in prison. But, even if the wound he receives be not mortal, yet be the occasion of his dying, he is believed to merit the aureole: although some say that he does not merit the aureole if he happen to die through his own carelessness or neglect. For this neglect would not have occasioned his death, except on the supposition of the wound which he received for the faith: and consequently this wound previously received for the faith is the original occasion of his death, so that he would not seem to lose. the aureole for that reason, unless his neglect were such as to involve a mortal sin, which would deprive him of both aurea and aureole. If, however, by some chance or other he were not to die of the mortal wound received, or again if the wounds received were not mortal, and he were to die while in prison, he would still merit the aureole. Hence the martyrdom of some saints is celebrated in the Church for that they died in prison, having been wounded long before, as in the case of Pope Marcellus. Accordingly in whatever way suffering for Christ's sake be continued unto death, whether death ensue or not, a man becomes a martyr and merits the aureole. If, however, it be not continued unto death, this is not a reason for calling a person a martyr, as in the case of the blessed Sylvester, whose feast the Church does not solemnize as a martyr's, since he ended his days in peace, although previously he had undergone certain sufferings.
Reply to Objection 8: Even as temperance is not about pleasures of money, honors, and the like, but only about pleasures of touch as being the principal of all, so fortitude is about dangers of death as being the greatest of all (Ethic. iii, 6). Consequently the aureole is due to such injuries only as are inflicted on a person's own body and are of a nature to cause death. Accordingly whether a person lose his temporalities, or his good name, or anything else of the kind, for Christ's sake, he does not for that reason become a martyr, nor merit the aureole. Nor is it possible to love ordinately external things more than one's body; and inordinate love does not help one to merit an aureole: nor again can sorrow for the loss of corporeal things be equal to the sorrow for the slaying of the body and other like things [*Cf. SS, Question , Article ].
Reply to Objection 9: The sufficient motive for martyrdom is not only confession of the faith, but any other virtue, not civic but infused, that has Christ for its end. For one becomes a witness of Christ by any virtuous act, inasmuch as the works which Christ perfects in us bear witness to His goodness. Hence some virgins were slain for virginity which they desired to keep, for instance blessed Agnes and others whose martyrdom is celebrated by the Church.
Reply to Objection 1:: The truth of faith has Christ for end and object; and therefore the confession thereof, if suffering be added thereto, merits an aureole, not only on the part of the end but also on the part of the matter. But the confession of any other truth is not a sufficient motive for martyrdom by reason of its matter, but only on the part of the end; for instance if a person were willing to be slain for Christ's sake rather than sin against Him by telling any lie whatever.
Reply to Objection 1:: The uncreated good surpasses all created good. Hence any created end, whether it be the common or a private good, cannot confer so great a goodness on an act as can the uncreated end, when, to wit, an act is done for God's sake. Hence when a person dies for the common good without referring it to Christ, he will not merit the aureole; but if he refer it to Christ he will merit the aureole and he will be a martyr; for instance, if he defend his country from the attack of an enemy who designs to corrupt the faith of Christ, and suffer death in that defense.
Reply to Objection 1:: Some say that the use of reason was by the Divine power accelerated in the Innocents slain for Christ's sake, even as in John the Baptist while yet in his mother's womb: and in that case they were truly martyrs in both act and will, and have the aureole. others say, however, that they were martyrs in act only and not in will: and this seems to be the opinion of Bernard, who distinguishes three kinds of martyrs, as stated above (OBJ 3). In this case the Innocents, even as they do not fulfill all the conditions of martyrdom, and yet are martyrs in a sense, in that they died for Christ, so too they have the aureole, not in all its perfection, but by a kind of participation, in so far as they rejoice in having. been slain in Christ's service; thus it was stated above (Article ) in reference to baptized children, that they will have a certain joy in their innocence and carnal integrity [*Cf. SS, Question , Article , ad 1, where St. Thomas declares that the Holy Innocents were truly martyrs.]
Summa - Supplement 1923