Maximilian from Numidia, a Christian, appeared before an African proconsul named Dion for induction into the army. Maximilian refused induction, however, stating simply, “I am not allowed to be a soldier, for I am a Christian.” Dion replied sharply, “Get into the service, or it will cost you your life.” Maximilian replied, “I do this age no war-service, but I do ‘war-service’ for my God.” No amount of threatening could budge him from his simple confession, “I am a Christian and I cannot do evil. . . .I shall not perish, but when I have forsaken this world, my soul shall live, with Christ my Lord. … I cannot fight, if I die; I am not a soldier of this world, but a soldier of God.”
Later he refused the royal badge that had the sign of the emperor on it, saying, “I do not accept your mark, for I already have the sign of Christ, my God… I do not accept the mark of this age, and if you impose it on me, I shall break it, for it is worth nothing.” The consul said, “You must serve or die.” Maximilian replied, “I am not a soldier of the world but of God. It is Christ whom we serve, all of us who are Christians.”
The outcome was that on March 12, 295, Maximilian was executed. Maximilian’s father returned home, “giving thanks to God that he had been able to bring such a present to the Lord.” Later, as a special honor, his body was brought to Carthage and buried near the tomb of Cyprian, a great leader in the church, who had also died as a martyr.