“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

1996 – When Charles Carl Roberts IV hung up on the police dispatcher, the police negotiator outside the Amish schoolhouse frantically redialed Roberts’ cell phone number but could not get through. Roberts, likely feeling that the police were coming at any moment, readied himself to begin shooting the girls.

That was when it happened — a miracle. Not the kind that changed one thing in that schoolhouse, but one that affected the millions of us outside the school house. 13-year-old Marian Fisher raised her voice. “Shoot me first and leave the other ones loose,” she reportedly said.

Her 11-year-old sister, Barbie, then said, “”Shoot me next.”

“Shoot me first.” Imagine saying those words. Now listen to them again in your mind. Then imagine them being said by a child.

Marian Fisher and her sister Barbie must have known the police were coming from Roberts’ frantic phone calls and they may have believed that if they offered themselves perhaps he wouldn’t have had time to kill the others. This was a moment that we should all measure ourselves against.

Roberts looked strangely at the girls and he asked them to pray for him just before he opened fire.

2012 – Victoria Soto, 27, a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., moved her students into a closet, and placed her body between them and shooter Adam Lanza.

She was found huddled over her students, protecting them.

Please continue reading at The National Catholic Register>>>