DION: But what harm do soldiers do?
This was sent out by Frank Cordaro. I am sending it to this Elist to see if there is a belief in re-incarnation.
painted by iconographer Jerry Holsopple. St Maximilian, an early
Chrisitan martyr was executed for refusing to join the army. It is
posted in a special icon collection of Jim's at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimforest/4642494573/
Commemoration on the Church calendar: March 12
St. Maximilian, Martyr (A. D. 295)
The passion of St Maximilian is one of that small collection of
precious documents that is an authentic, contemporary and
unembroidered account of the trial and death of an early martyr. It
runs as follows:
In the consulate of Tuscus and Anulinus, on March 12, at Theveste in
copyist's mistake, and that the martyrdom was really somewhere near
before the court, together with Maximilian. The public prosecutor,
Pompeian, opened the case, and said, 'Fabius Victor is here with
Caesar's commissary, Valerian Quintian. I demand that Maximilian, son
of Victor, a conscript suitable for service, be measured.' The
proconsul Dion asked the young man his name, and he answered, 'What is
the good of replying? I cannot enlist, for I am a Christian'; and
added when the proconsul told the usher to take his height, 'I cannot
serve, I cannot do evil. I am a Christian.' The proconsul repeated his
order, and the usher reported that Maximilian measured five feet ten
inches. Then the proconsul said he was to be given the military badge,
but Maximilian persisted, 'Never! I cannot be a soldier.'
DION: You must serve or die.
MAXIMILIAN: I will never serve. You can cut off my head, but I will
not be a soldier of this world, for I am a soldier of Christ.
[Footnote: "It was this insistence of the early Christians on being
soldiers of Christ that gave us our word 'pagan': paganus=a civilian.
DION: What has put these ideas into your head?
MAXIMILIAN: My conscience and He who has called me.
DION (to Fabius Victor): Put your son right.
VICTOR: He knows what he believes, and he will not change.
DION (to Maximilian): Be a soldier and accept the emperor's badge.
[Footnote: "A leaden seal (bulla), worn around the neck. Cf. the
modern identity disc."]
MAXIMILIAN: Not at all. I carry the mark of Christ my God already.
DION: I shall send you to your Christ at once.
MAXIMILIAN: I ask nothing better. Do it quickly, for there is my glory.
DION (to the recruiting-officer): Give him his badge.
MAXIMILIAN: I will not take the badge. If you insist, I will deface
it. I am a Christian, and I am not allowed to wear that leaden seal
around my neck. For I already carry the sacred sign of the Christ, the
Son of the living God, whom you know not, the Christ who suffered for
our salvation, whom God gave to die for our sins. It is He whom all we
Christians serve, it is He whom we follow, for He is the Lord of life,
the Author of our salvation.
DION: Join the service and accept the sear, or else you will perish miserably.
MAXIMILIAN: I shall not perish: my name is even now before God. I
refuse to serve.
DION: You are a young man and the profession of arms befits your
years. Be a soldier.
MAXIMILIAN: My army is the army of God, and I cannot fight for this
world. I tell you, I am a Christian.
DION: There are Christian soldiers serving our rulers Diocletian and
Maximian, Constantius and Galerius.
MAXIMILIAN: That is their business. I also am a Christian, and I cannot serve.
DION: But what harm do soldiers do?
MAXIMILIAN: You know well enough.
DION: If you will not do your service I shall condemn you to death for
contempt of the army.
MAXIMILIAN: I shall not die. If I go from this earth my soul will live
with Christ my lord.
DION: Write his name down....Your impiety makes you refuse military
service, and you shall be punished accordingly as a warning to others.
He then read the sentence: 'Maximilian has refused the military oath
through impiety. He is to be beheaded.'
MAXIMILIAN: God liveth!
Maximilian's age was twenty-one years, three months and eighteen days.
On his way to death he said to the assembled Christians, 'Beloved
brethren, make haste to attain the vision of God and to deserve a
crown like mine with all your strength and with the deepest longing.'
He was radiant; and, turning to his father, he said, 'That cloak you
got ready for when I was a soldier, give it to the lictor. The fruits
of this good work will be multiplied an hundredfold. May I welcome you
in Heaven and glorify God with you!'
Almost at once his head was cut off.
A matron named Pompeiana obtained Maximilian's body and had it carried
in her litter to
Cyprian, not far from the palace.
Victor went home joyfully, thanking God for having allowed him to send
such a gift to Heaven, whither he was not long in following his son.
The text of the passio is in Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii., and
Ruinart, Acta sincera.*See Allard, Histoire des Persecutions, vol. iv;
Delehaye, Les Passions des martyrs... pp. 104-110. In the third
century the Roman army was recruited chiefly from volunteers, but the
sons of veterans were under obligation to serve. In the Roman
Martyrology, St Maximilian is called Mamilianus, and the place of his
martyrdom is erroneously given as
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