Saturday, June 24, 2006

to encourage Ehren Watada, and others so situated

Great bunches of the holy Church's earliest martyrs were girls who wouldn't marry whatever papa picked, and young men who wouldn't join the military or wouldn't kill on command once they were in.

So, from the year 295, the story of St. Maximilian of Tebessa, also called St. Maximilian the Great Martyr, who, heavens no, he couldn't go.

On the 12th day of March during the consulship of Tuscus and Anolinus [295], when Fabius Victor had been brought into the forum at Tebessa, together with Maximilianus, and their advocate Pompeianus had been granted an audience, the last declared, "The temonarius Fabius Victor is present, together with Valerianus Quintianus, the praepositus Caesariensis, and the fine recruit Maximilianus, Victor's son. Since he is acceptable, I ask that he be measured." The proconsul Dion said, "What are you called ?" Maximilianus replied, "Why do you want to know my name? It is not permitted to me to serve in the military since I am a Christian". The proconsul Dion said, "Ready him". When he was being got ready, Maximilianus replied, "I cannot serve in the military; I cannot do wrong; I am a Christian." The proconsul Dion said, "Let him be measured". When he had been measured, an official reported, "He is five feet ten inches tall." Dion said to the official, "Let him be marked." And as Maximilianus resisted, he replied, "I will not do it; I cannot serve in the military."

2. Dion said, "Serve so that you do not perish." Maximilianus replied, "I will not serve; cut off my head; I do not serve the world, but I do serve my God." Dion the proconsul said, "Who has persuaded you of this?" Maximilianus replied, "My soul and he who has called me." Dion said to his father Victor, "Advise your son." Victor replied, "He himself knows --- he has his purpose --- what is best for him." Dion said to Maximilianus, "Serve and accept the seal." He replied, "I will not accept the seal: I already have the seal of my Christ." Dion the proconsul said, "I will send you to your Christ right now." He replied, "I wish that you would do so. That is even my title to glory." Dion said to his staff, "Let him be marked." And when he was resisting, he replied, "I do not accept the world's seal, and if you give it to me, I will break it, since I value it at nought. I am a Christian. It is not permitted to me to bear the lead upon my neck after [having received] the saving seal of my Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, he whom you do not know, who suffered for the life of the world, whom God surrendered for our sins. All of us Christians serve Him. Him we follow as the source of life and author of salvation." Dion said, "Serve, and accept the seal, so that you do not suffer a terrible death." Maximilianus replied, "I will not die. My name is already with my Lord; I cannot serve in the military." Dion said, "Have regard to your youth and serve; for this befits a young man." Maximilianus replied, "My service is for my Lord; I cannot serve the world. I have already said: I am a Christian." Dion the proconsul said, "There are Christian soldiers in the sacred retinue of our lords Diocletian, Maximianus, Constantius, and Maximus, and they serve." Maximilianus replied, "They themselves know what is best for them. But I am a Christian, and I cannot do wrong." Dio said, "What wrong do they who serve do ?" Maximilianus replied, "You know well what they do." Dion replied, "Serve, lest, having scorned military service, you begin upon a terrible death." Maximilianus replied, "I will will not die; even if I do depart the world, my spirit will live with my Lord Christ."

3. Dion said, "Strike out his name." And when it had been struck out, Dion said, "Because you have disloyally refused military service, you will receive the appropriate sentence in order to serve as an example to others." And he read his decision from his tablet, "Maximilianus, since you have disloyally refused the military oath, it has been decided for you to be punished by the sword." Maximilianus replied, "Thanks be to God." He was 21 years, 3 months, and 18 days old. And when he was being led to the place [of execution], he spoke as follows, "Dearest brothers, with an eager desire, hurry with as much courage as you can so that it may befall you to see the Lord and that he may reward you also with a similar crown." And with a joyous face, he addressed his father as follows, "Give that guard the new clothing which you had got ready for me during my military service, so that I may welcome you with a hundredfold reward and we may glory with the Lord together." And so he suffered death shortly afterwards. And the matron Pompeiana obtained his body from the judge and, having placed it in her carriage, she brought it to Carthage, and buried it beneath a little hill near the martyr Cyprian and the palace. And so, after the 13th day, the same woman died, and was buried there. But his father Victor returned to his home with great joy, thanking God that he had sent on ahead such a gift to the Lord, he who was about to follow shortly afterwards.



MAB said...

Well, Maximilianus refused to join the military. Our Lt. Wataba had no such qualms. He accepted military pay, training, promotion and lifelong financial, health and education benefits. The two situations are hardly alike.

What concerns me is the accusation by Wasaba that the US miltary is involved in the "wholesale slaughter" of the Iraqi people. He makes this sweeping claim without an ounce of proof, and with plenty of evidence to the contrary. Isn't this nation right now putting US military personnel on trial for crimes against said Iraqi people?

Let the Lieutenant sit in confinement, or wherever he is, and enjoy the air conditioning and the cable TV and the food, while his troops ship out without him.

Karen Marie said...

St. Marcellus and St. Cassian, 298; Marcellus was a centurion who refused to pay public honor to the genius of the Emperor on the Emperor's birthday, and Cassian, unit clerk, refused to record Marcellus' death sentence.

St. Hippolytus of Rome ,late 200s, and St. Adrian of Nicomedia, 304, were prison guards converted by their prisoners then martyred with them.

St. Martin of Tours, cavalry officer, converted to Christianity during his service, and just before a battle announced that his faith prevented him from fighting. Charged with cowardice, but charges inexplicably dropped when he offered to go between the armies unarmed, then the other side just went away without a fight. He got mustered out and eventually founded several monasteries and became bishop of Tours.

St. Maurice, commander, and his entire legion, 287, martyred as a group for refusing to participate in pre-battle preparations.

St. Stanislaus of Cracow, 1079, bishop put to death for denouncing his king's war crimes.

St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, army deserter, managed to stay hidden until the end of the war he was dodging and the general amnesty proclaimation, then became a priest and the pastor of a backwoods village called Ars.

Ven. Franz Jagerstatter, 1943; after receiving reserve training he refused further cooperation with his government which was waging unjust war, when the government came to activate him he refused and was executed.

Servant of God Oscar Arnulfo Romero, 1980, another bishop assasinated for denouncing his government's war crimes and human rights abuses.

Just a little sampling........

Mimi said...

Lord Have Mercy. Thank you.