These holy men and women followed in the footsteps of Jesus, even dying on a cross.
Jesus said to his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).
While Jesus is primarily referring to a figurative cross of suffering that all disciples are required to carry, some saints took it a step further and literally carried a cross to their own crucifixions.
They did so willingly, knowing that to die a martyr on a cross was to unite themselves completely to the sacrifice of Jesus. These saints were confident that Jesus would say similar words to them as he said to the good thief, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).