Since death was ever near at hand through the inescapable necessity of nature, such men (as Saint John the Baptist) considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name.

There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: I am the truth? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ - Saint Bede the Venerable.