One of the biggest objections from baptism of desire/blood advocates is the claim that the Catholic Church recognizes saints who never received the Sacrament of Baptism. The answer to this is that the Catholic Church has never recognized that there are saints in heaven who were not baptized. Some historians have written accounts of the lives of certain saints in which these saints died without baptism of water – by “baptism of blood”; but the assertions of these historians prove nothing.
Not all of the information surrounding the deaths of martyrs is accurate. For instance, “According to St. Ambrose, Prudentius and Father Butler, Saint Agnes was beheaded. Others had said she [St. Agnes] was burned to death. Our point is that not all of the information given in the martyrdom narrative is necessarily accurate, consistent, or complete.”
Pope St. Gelasius, Decretal, 495: “Likewise the deeds of the holy martyrs… [which] with remarkable caution are not read in the holy Roman Church… because the names of those who wrote them are entirely unknown… lest an occasion of mockery might arise.”
Pope St. Gelasius is saying here that the acts and deeds recorded of the martyrs are uncertain. Their authors are unknown, the accounts may contain error and they were not even read out in the holy Roman Church to avoid possible scandal or mockery which might arise from any false statements contained therein. In fact, in his work The Age of Martyrs, the renowned Church historian Abbot Giuseppe Ricciotti says: “For guides we have appropriate documents. These, however, as we have already seen, are often uncertain and would lead us completely astray. Especially unreliable are the Acts or Passions of martyrs.” The infallible teaching of the Catholic Church, on the other hand, is absolutely reliable, and it has never taught that souls can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism by “baptism of blood.” Thus, in short, there is no proof that any saint martyred for the Catholic Faith never received the Sacrament of Baptism.
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