The Eighth Beatitude

Christ Before Pilate by Mihály Munkácsy

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10).

“‘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.” -St. John Chrysostom

“‘For righteousness’ sake’ He adds expressly, for many suffer persecution for their sins, and are not therefore righteous.” -St. Jerome

“Scripture . . . does not mention the persons of the persecutors, but only the cause of persecution, that you may learn to look, not by whom, but why you suffer.” -Pseudo-Chrysostom

“He includes those in the beatitude whose will is ready to suffer all things for Christ, who is our righteousness.” -St. Hilary of Poitiers

“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.” -St. Augustine

“Wonder not if you do not hear ‘the kingdom’ mentioned under each beatitude; for in saying ‘shall be comforted,’ ‘shall find mercy,’ and the rest, in all these the kingdom of heaven is tacitly understood. . . . For indeed he would not be blessed who was to be crowned with those things which depart with this life.” -St. John Chrysostom

Quotations from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels Collected Out of the Works of the Fathers, Vol. I, Part I (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841).

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