jeudi 12 mars 2015

Saint MAXIMILIEN de THEVESTE (TÉBESSA), martyr


Saint Maximilien, martyr

En Numidie, parvenu à l’âge prescrit par la loi, Maximilien, à vingt ans, opposa un net refus à l’appel à accomplir, comme tous les citoyens romains, son service militaire dans l’armée. Arrêté, il fut cité en jugement dans le forum. Aux questions du proconsul qui voulait savoir les raisons qui s’opposaient au service militaire, Maximilien répondit, avec grande simplicité et fermeté, qu’en conscience il ne pensait pas que l’Évangile soit compatible avec l’exercice de quelque forme de violence que ce soit. Par crainte qu’une telle attitude puisse se répandre parmi les chrétiens, désormais nombreux dans l’Empire, Maximilien fut condamné à la peine capitale, immédiatement exécutée, le 12 mars 295. Sa présence dans le martyrologe sonne comme un avertissement perpétuel pour tous ceux qui croient pouvoir associer avec désinvolture les exigences radicales de l’Évangile et les ordres imposés par les sociétés humaines.

SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/03/12/13571/-/saint-maximilien-martyr

Tout comme Maxime, Maximilien signifie en latin "le plus grand". 

Plusieurs Maximilien ont illustré ce prénom. Nous célébrons aujourd'hui un Maximilien qui est l'un des saints patrons possibles pour les objecteurs de conscience ! Il vivait en Algérie au IIIe siècle. Fils de Fabius Victor, vétéran chargé de lever des recrues pour l'armée, il comparaît à 21 ans devant le proconsul d'Afrique : il pensait, comme Tertullien déjà, qu'un chrétien ne pouvait exercer le métier des armes. Il déclare au juge : "Je suis chrétien, soldat du Christ : je ne combattrai pour personne d'autre. Marqué du sceau de Notre Seigneur, je ne lui donnerai pas de rival".
 
L'intrépide Maximilien fut exécuté le 12 mars 295 à Théveste, aujourd'hui Tébessa en Algérie. Les Actes de sa passion sont l'un des documents historiques les plus solides dont on dispose sur la grande persécution de la fin du IIIe siècle en Afrique du nord.

Un autre Maximilien, saint Maximilien Kolbe (du latin maximus : le plus grand), nous est plus proche : le franciscain martyr en Pologne à Auschwitz en 1941. Sa fête est le 14 août.

Passons en Bretagne pour honorer saint Pol (ou Paol) de Léon. Au 6e siècle, il quitta la Bretagne insulaire, alors envahie par les Angles, et se retira en l'île de Batz, tout en portant l'Evangile dans le pays du Léon (Finistère), y fondant de nombreux monastères.

Rédacteur : Frère Bernard Pineau, OP



Maximilian of Theveste M (RM)
(also known as Maximilian of Tebessa)

Died 296. In the African churches of the late Roman Empire, it was not uncommon for liturgies to include readings from the acta and passios of martyrs. The one often included for Saint Maximilian is the authentic record of his trial in Numidia (now Algeria) and execution for refusing to be conscripted into the Roman army. Maximilian resisted because he didn't want to be tainted by the idolatry of wearing the emperor's image around his neck.


Maximilian also refused because he was a pacifist, perhaps one of the earliest conscientious objectors. There has long been a debate within the Church concerning the radical pacifism advocated by Our Lord and the less stringent, but more practical, position allowing self-defense and just war. Prior to the Edict of Milan and the toleration of Christianity, Christians believed that bearing arms contradicted the Gospel. Tertullian, for example, prohibited military service. Saint Hippolytus said that it was impossible to be a soldier and a catechumen--as contradictory as being a prostitute and catechumen (at least part of his reasoning dealt with the association of soldiers with pagan gods and sacrifices). The Church moderated its position. The Council of Arles (314) said that soldiers who left the army during peacetime would be excommunicated.

About 295, the proconsul Dion went to Theveste to recruit soldiers for the third Augustan legion stationed there. At this time the Roman army was mainly volunteers, but sons of veterans were obliged to serve. Maximilian, the 21-year-old son of the Roman army veteran Fabius Victor, was presented to the recruiting agent. The advocatus Pompeianus, seeing that Maximilian would make an excellent recruit, asked for him to be measured: he was 5'10" tall. The ensuing dialogue between the proconsul Dion and Maximilian has been preserved to this day.

When asked his name, Maximilian replied, "Why do you wish to know my name? I cannot serve because I am a Christian." Nevertheless, orders were given for him to be given the military seal. He answered, "I cannot do it: I cannot be a soldier." When told he must serve or die, he said, "You may cut off my head, but I will not serve. My army is the army of God, and I cannot fight for this world," it was pointed out to him that there were Christians serving as bodyguards for the emperors Diocletian and Maximian. To this he replied, "That is their business. I am a Christian, too, and I cannot serve." Dion then told Victor to correct his son. Victor, who had become a Christian like his son, said, "He knows what he believes, and he won't change his mind."

Dion insisted, "Agree to serve and receive the military seal." "I already have the seal of Christ, my God . . . I will not accept the seal of this world; if you give it to me, I will break it for it is worthless. I cannot wear a piece of lead around my neck after I have received the saving sign of Jesus Christ, my Lord, the son of the living God. You do not know Him; yet He suffered for our salvation: God delivered Him up for our sins. He is the one whom all Christians serve; we follow Him as the Prince of Life and Author of Salvation."

Again Dion stated that there are other Christians who are soldiers. Maximilian answered, "They know what is best for them. I am a Christian and I cannot do what is wrong." Dion continued, "What wrong do those commit who serve in the army?" Maximilian answered, "You know very well what they do."
Threatened with death if he remained obstinate, Maximilian answered, "This is the greatest thing that I desire. Dispatch me quickly. Therein lies my glory." Then he added, "I shall not die. When I leave this earth, I shall live with Christ, my Lord." He was sentenced accordingly: "Whereas Maximilian has disloyally refused the military oath, he is sentenced to die by the sword."

Just before his execution, Maximilian encouraged his companions to persevere and asked his father to give his new clothes to the executioner. We are told that Fabius Victor "went home happily, thanking God for having allowed him to send such a gift to heaven."

The place of Maximilian's death is given as Theveste (Tebessa) in Numidia, but it may have been nearer Carthage, where his body was taken for burial by a devout woman named Pompeiana. It was buried close to the relics of Saint Cyprian.

As a side note, in 295, Diocletian issued an edict linking pagan religious practice to marriage and children. In 300, all soldiers were required to sacrifice to the civic gods (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Markus).

In art, St. Maximilian is a warrior with a banner that says In hoc vinces (Roeder).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0312.shtml

Maximilian of Thebeste

Martyred at Thebeste near Carthage, 12 March, 295. Thinking a Christian was not permitted to be a soldier, he refused to enter the army and was beheaded. Since death was not then the legal punishment for those who refused to join the army (Arrius Menander, Digest XLIX, xvi, 4 P. 10), it is probable that he was beheaded because he gave his Christianity as the reason of his refusal. He was buried at Carthage by the noble matron Pompejana.

Sources

Acta SS., Aug., IV, 425-430; RUINART, Acta Martyrum (Ratisbon, 1859), 609-12; LECLERCQ, Les Martyrs, III (Paris, 1904), 100-04; TILLEMONT, Mémoires pour servir a l'hist. eccles. des six premiers siecles, VII (Paris, 1700), 405-09; TAMAYO, Discursos apologeticos de las reliquias d. S. Bonoso y Maximiliano (Baeza, 1632). (2) Vita ac legenda S. Maximiliani in PEZ, Script. rerum Austr., I, 22-34. Concerning its value see RETTBERG, Kirschengesch. Deutschl., I (Gottingen, 1846), 158 sq. RATZINGER, Forsch. zur Bayr. Gesch. (Kempten, 1898), 325 sq.; KERSCHBAUMER, Gesch. des Bist. St. Poelten (1875), I, 61-78. (3) ALLARD, La persecution de Diocletien, I (Paris, 1908), 99-105; HARNACK Militia Christi (Tübingen, 1905), 114 sq.; RUINART, Acta Martyrum (Ratisbon, 1859), 340-2, Fr. tr. LECLERCQ, Les Martyrs, II (Paris, 1903), 152-5.

Ott, Michael. "Maximilian." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 12 Mar. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10075a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Benjamin F. Hull.


Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.


SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10075a.htm


St. Maximilian, Martyr

HE was the son of Victor, a Christian soldier in Numidia. According to the law which obliged the sons of soldiers to serve in the army at the age of twenty-one years, his measure was taken, that he might be enrolled in the troops, and he was found to be of due stature, being five Roman feet and ten inches high, 1 that is, about five feet and a half of our measure. But Maximilian refused to receive the mark, which was a print on the hand, and a leaden collar about the neck, on which were engraved the name and motto of the emperor. His plea was, that in the Roman army superstitions, contrary to the Christian faith, were often practised, with which he could not defile his soul. Being condemned by the proconsul to lose his head, he met death with joy in the year 296. See his acts in Ruinart.

Note 1. See Tr. sur la Milice Romaine, t. 1. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.


SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/3/123.html