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16-Jul-2017 19:40

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 Council of Arles (314) said that soldiers who left the army during peacetime would be excommunicated.

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.

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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.Maximilian answered, "They know what is best for them.