Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko (died 1984) was a courageous Polish priest who preached against Communism and who was murdered by agents of the Polish Communist internal intelligence agency. He wrote the following on the virtue of fortitude:
“…A Christian fulfils his duties only when he is stalwart, when he professes his principles courageously, when he is neither ashamed of them nor renounces them because of fear or material needs. Woe betide a society whose citizens do not live by fortitude. They cease to be citizens and become more like slaves. It is fortitude which creates citizens, for only a courageous man is conscious of all his rights and duties. If a citizen lacks fortitude, he becomes a slave and causes immeasurable harm not only to himself but to his family, his country and the Church…Fortitude is an essential part of one’s life as a citizen. That is why fortitude is, for a Christian, the most important duty after love.
In order to remain spiritually free men, we must live in truth. To live in truth means to bear witness to it to the outside world at all ties and in all situations. The truth is unchangeable. It cannot be destroyed by any decree or law…Courageous witnessing to the truth leads directly to freedom. A man who witnesses to the truth can be free even though he might be in prison…We can overcome fear only if we accept suffering in the name of a greater value. If the truth becomes for us a value, worthy of suffering and risk, then we shall overcome fear—the direct reason for our enslavement.”