Augustine on the Glorious Wounds of the Martyrs

“I do not know why this is so, but the love we bear for the blessed martyrs makes us desire to see in the kingdom of heaven the marks of the wounds which they received for Christ’s name; and it may be that we shall indeed see them.  For this will not be a deformity, but a badge of honour, and the beauty of their virtue — a beauty which is in the body, but not of the body — will shine forth in it.  But those martyrs who have had limbs hacked off and taken away will not lack those limbs at the resurrection of the dead; for it was said to them, ‘Not a hair of your head shall perish.’ It may be that, in that world to come, it will be fitting for them to exhibit some marks of their glorious wounds, still visible in their immortal flesh.  If so, however, the places where they have been struck or cut will retain the scars, but the limbs which were cut off will not be lost, but restored.  While, therefore, no blemishes which the body has sustained will be present in the world to come, we are nonetheless not to deem these marks of virtue blemishes, or call them such.” (XXII.19) 1

  1. Augustine, The City of God against the Pagans, trans. R.W. Dyson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *