Matthew 5:10

Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
In Luc., vi. 23: Otherwise; the first kingdom of heaven was promised to the Saints, in deliverance from the body; the second, that after the resurrection they should be with Christ. For after your resurrection you shall begin to possess the earth delivered from death, and in that possession shall find comfort. ...
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
“For the sake of justice.” This addition clearly distinguishes the martyr from the robber. For the robber too in return for evil deeds suffers at the law’s hand and doesn’t ask for a prize or garland but instead pays the due penalty. It is not the penalty as such but the basis for the penalty that makes the martyr. Let us first choose the right reason, and then let us endure the penalty without anxiety. There were three crosses in a single place when Christ suffered: he himself was in the middle, and at his two sides were two robbers. Look at the penalty: it is similar for all three. Yet one of the robbers found paradise on the cross. The man in the middle, judging, condemns the proud man and receives the humble man. That piece of wood served as a judgment seat for Christ. He who judges, who is able to make the judgment correctly, says to the robber who confessed: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” For the robber was humbling himself. Note what he had so simply ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Or, the eighth beatitude, as it were, returns to the commencement, because it shows the perfect complete character. In the first then and the eighth, the kingdom of heaven is named, for the seven go to make the perfect man, the eighth manifests and proves his perfectness, that all may be conducted to perfection by these steps. The number of these sentences should be carefully attended to; to these seven degrees of blessedness agree the operation of that seven-form Holy Spirit which Isaiah described. But as He began from the highest, so here He begins from the lowest; for there we are taught that the Son of God will descend to the lowest; here that man will ascend from the lowest to the likeness of God. Here the first place is given to fear, which is suitable for the humble, of whom it is said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” that is, those who think not high things, but who fear. The second is piety, which belongs to the meek; for he who seeks piously, reverences, does not find fault...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
And those promises can indeed be fulfilled in this life, as we believe them to have been fulfilled in the case of the apostles. For that all-embracing change into the angelic form, which is promised after this life, cannot be explained in any words. Blessed, therefore, are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This eighth sentence, which goes back to the starting-point, and makes manifest the perfect man, is perhaps set forth in its meaning both by the circumcision on the eighth day in the Old Testament, and by the resurrection of the Lord after the Sabbath, the day which is certainly the eighth, and at the same time the first day; and by the celebration of the eight festival days which we celebrate in the case of the regeneration of the new man; and by the very number of Pentecost. For to the number seven, seven times multiplied, by which we make forty-nine, as it were an eighth is added, so that fifty may be made up, and we, as it wer...

Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
Not without reason did the Lord previously mention hungering and thirsting for justice. He instructs us so to thirst in our desire for justice that for its sake we should despise the world’s persecutions, the punishments of the body and death itself. The martyrs above all are the epitome of those who for the righteousness of faith and the name of Christ endure persecution in this world. To them a great hope is promised, namely, the possession of the kingdom of heaven. The apostles were chief examples of this blessedness, and with them all the just people who for the sake of righteousness were afflicted with various persecutions. Due to their faith they have come into the heavenly realms. . ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Heretics and malefactors suffer occasionally, but they are not on this account blessed, because they suffer not for justice. For, says St. Augustine they cannot suffer for justice, who have divided the Church; and where sound faith or charity is wanting, there cannot be justice. (Cont. epis. Parm. lib. i. chap. 9. ep. 50. ps. 4. conc. 2.) (Bristow) By justice here we understand virtue, piety, and the defence of our neighbour. To all who suffer on this account, he promises a seat in his heavenly kingdom. We must not think that suffering persecution only, will suffice to entitle us to the greatest promises. The persecutions we suffer must be inflicted on us on his account, and the evils spoken of us must be false and contradicted by our lives. If these are not the causes of our sufferings, so far from being happy, we shall be truly miserable, because then our irregular lives would be the occasion of the persecutions we suffer. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xv.) ...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Thus, lastly, He includes those in the beatitude whose will is ready to suffer all things for Christ, who is our righteousness. For these then also is the kingdom preserved, for they are in the contempt of this world poor in spirit.
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AD 420
“For righteousness’ sake” He adds expressly, for many suffer persecution for their sins, and are not therefore righteous. Likewise consider how the eighth beatitude of the true circumcision is terminated by martyrdom.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Then, lest you should imagine peace in all cases a blessing, He has added, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake. Matthew 5:10 That is, for virtue's sake, for succor given to others, and for godliness: it being ever His wont to call by the name of righteousness the whole practical wisdom of the soul. ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
“Blessed are they who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake,” that is for virtue, for defending others, for piety, for all these things are spoken of under the title of righteousness. This follows the beatitude upon the peacemakers, that we may not be led to suppose that it is good to seek peace at all times. He said not, Blessed are they who suffer persecution of the Gentiles; that we may not suppose the blessing pronounced on those only who are persecuted for refusing to sacrifice to idols; yea, whoever suffers persecution of heretics because he will not forsake the truth is likewise blessed, seeing he suffers for righteousness. Moreover, if any of the great ones, who seem to be Christians, being corrected by you on account of his sins, shall persecute you, you are blessed with John the Baptist. For if the Prophets are truly martyrs when they are killed by their own countrymen, without doubt he who suffers in the cause of God has the reward of martyrdom though he suffers from hi...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
It is not only the martyrs who are persecuted; many others are persecuted as well, for helping those who have been wronged, and simply for every virtue which they possess. For "righteousness" means every virtue. Thieves and murderers are also persecuted, but they are not blessed.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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