|Don't invite anyone with the title Confessor to a party - they're notorious killjoys|
(painting of Maximum the Confessor)
Noun. Old English.
[Anglo-Norman confessur, Old French confessour (modern confesseur) from ecclesiastical Latin confessor, from confess-.]
1 A person avowing his religion in the face of danger, and adhering to it despite persecution, but not suffering martyrdom. OE
2 A person who makes confession or public acknowledgement of religious belief, etc., or (later) of a crime, sin, etc. ME
3 A priest who hears confessions. ME
Have you ever wondered what a confessor is? Well, I hadn't either to be honest, at least until I read the entry in the dictionary. For me, a confessor has mainly been the stock murderer in lazily written episodes of CSI and the like, the type of criminal that conveniently gives a full and detailed confession at the end of every single episode rather than drag out the whole process through years of trials, legal quibbles and technicalities, as does any criminal worth his salt.
However, as given in the definition, confessor is a title conferred upon someone by various Christian denominations, perhaps most famously with Edward the Confessor, King of England between 1042-1066 and known for his great piety. According to the Catholic encyclopaedia New Advent, confessor is a title conferred upon "those men who have distinguished themselves by heroic virtue" in the face of persecution because of their faith, but generally not to the point of martyrdom. That encyclopaedia is talking about confessors of the Catholic Church, obviously, but seemingly it's a title given by other denominations too.
So, if you'd like to be venerated by your church but don't like the idea of martyrdom, be virtuous, avow your faith, and be at least a little bit persecuted for doing so (it's kind of Sainthood Lite). First, however, do check that your denomination uses the title confessor, and remember to not let your persecutors, under any circumstances, kill you.
Are you confessor?
Would you like to be?
Do please give light to your darkest thoughts in the confessional comment box below.