Sobre el trato que paganos y politeístas dispensan a los cristianos hay mucho escrito. Las actas de sus juicios son, a menudo, el documento más incontrovertible de lo que paganos y politeístas hacen con los cristianos. Actas, por lo demás, levantadas por los propios asesinos e inicuos ejecutores, así que es confesión de parte.
Aquí queda una hoy, la de San Máximo, martirizado en el año 251 de Nuestro Señor. Refleja la conversación entre el Procónsul Optimus, bajo el Emperador Decio, y San Máximo.
«Maximus: I am born free, but am the slave of Jesus Christ.
Optimus: What is your profession?
Maximus: I am a plebeian, and live by my dealings.
Optimus: Are you a Christian?
Maximus: Yes, I am, though a sinner.
Optimus: Have you not been informed of the edicts that are lately arrived?
Maximus: What edicts, and what are their contents?
Optimus: That all the Christians forsake their superstition, acknowledge the true prince whom all obey, and adore his gods.
Maximus: I have been told of that impious edict, and it is the occasion of my appearing abroad.
Optimus: As then you are apprised of the edicts, sacrifice to the gods.
Maximus: I sacrifice to none but that God to Whom alone I have sacrificed from my youth, the remembrance of which affords me great comfort.
Optimus: Sacrifice as you value your life: if you refuse to obey, you shall expire in torments!
Maximus: This has ever been the object of my desires: it was on this very account that I appeared in public, to have an opportunity offered me of being speedily delivered out of this miserable life, to possess that which is eternal.
Then the proconsul commanded him to be beaten.
Optimus: Sacrifice, Maximus, and you shall be no longer tormented.
Maximus: Sufferings for the Name of Christ are not torments, but comfortable unctions; but if I depart from His precepts contained in the Gospel, then real and eternal torments would be my portion.
Optimus then ordered him to be stretched on the rack and tortured.
Optimus: Renounce, wretch, your obstinate folly, and sacrifice to save your life.
Maximus: I shall save it if I do not sacrifice; I shall lose it if I do. Neither your clubs, nor your iron hooks, nor your firegive me any pain, because the grace of Jesus Christ dwells in me, which will deliver me out of your hands to put me in possession of the happiness of the saints, who have already, in this same conflict, triumphed over your cruelty. It is by their prayers I obtain this courage and strength which you see in me.
Optimus: I command that Maximus, for refusing to obey the sacred edicts, be stoned to death, to serve for an example of error to all Christians.
St Maximus was immediately seized by the executioners and carried outside the city walls, where they stoned him to death. His feast day is 14 May.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.»