St. Maximilian was born in the year 274 AD and was martyred March 12, 295, in what is now Algeria. Because his father was a soldier in the Roman army, he was forced to enlist at the age of 21. He refused, stating that a Christian could not justify serving as a soldier. An account of the conversation that led to his execution still survives. Today, Maximilian is honored as the patron saint of conscientious objectors. His feast day is March 12.
“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. My army is the army of God, and I cannot fight for this world. I tell you I am a Christian.” — St. Maximilian
Questions for Reflection:
- What moral demands has your faith placed on you?
- When has your conscience compelled you to make an unpopular or countercultural stand?
- How important are the virtues of peace and nonviolence to you?