The author of the summary document Positio about the martyrdom of a God´s servant Titus Zeman, the professor Lodovica Maria Zanet from Milano, explained who the martyr is with the emphasis on the hatred of a tormentor towards the faith, not towards the individual – a martyr. The martyr is a baptized person who sacrifices his own life for Christ and for the Church because of his great love. The martyr dies a horrible death by means of an “arm” of the tormentor who attacks the martyr until he dies. The important fact is that the tormentor hates the faith of a martyr, not the martyr himself. Meaning that the martyr does not die because of the antipathy or of a personal argument but he dies because his tormentor hates the Christian faith. And if it were possible, he would like to destroy Christ himself in the person of a martyr. So we understand the martyrdom in the framework of the faith, in Church, for Church and for each person as an act of great love. The martyr does not have a hate towards the tormentor. Moreover he offers him an excuse and an evidence of the beautiful life in Christ.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church respond with these words: “Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. (CCC 2473)”
The life of a martyr is with a desire often lived in such historical, social and cultural context that is very different from the Gospel. So that the martyr clearly becomes a bright icon of a life of God´s Son and his redemptive offering.
The Church requires affirmation of a three conditions in order to prove that a death of a baptized person was a martyrdom. That conditions are: his death was violent, a tormentor wanted to destroy him because of the faith, and that the God´s servant was willing to accept his death.
The violent death means a death caused with a brutal activity of a tormentor. It can be immediate or done as an imposed punishment (death penalty) or it can be caused due to the pursuit but with a relative lapse of time (meaning that a tormentor noticeably “shortened a life of God´s servant”, evidently endangered the quality of his life and ruined his physical and mental powers).
The first example, the immediate death was experienced by Blessed martyr Štefan Šándor (capitated in Hungary in 1953) or by five young boys in the oratory in Poznaň in Poland who died in 1942. On the contrary, the death of Fr Titus Zeman was delayed in the framework of time but still was caused by the martyrdom or torture in prisons.
The second condition is so-called formal martyrdom from the tormentor´s side. Meaning that one or more persons were cruel toward a human being because of their hatred for the faith. The tormentor does not kill because of the faithful is guilty of a crime (the martyrdom requires innocence), nor because of settling scores, but because he found a heroic affiliation to Christ in a Christian. The tormentor acts under the illusion and in a fruitless effort in order to destroy the Christ himself in the person of a Christian.
Finally, concerning the martyrdom it is required that the God´s servant would be prepared and willing to accept the death as an act of a great love in order to protect the Church and for the Church. The martyr never plans his death voluntarily. He accepts it – not because of fear and anxiety, but with a stillness and hope that are God´s gifts – as a result of preferring the pain to betraying, denying, doing evil or approving evil. The faithful one who dies as such becomes the witness of a faith up to his own absolute self-donation. That is a martyrdom.