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The struggles between Christians and the Donatist sect had become violent, and two Donatists had died, whom the Donatists called martyrs. St. Optatus of Milevis says they cannot be called martyrs, because they had abandoned charity, the one virtue without which not even communion with angels will do us any good.
Those men you call martyrs refused to recognize their brethren, and had no charity.
Excuse - Communion - Betrayers - Sons - Betrayers
And don’t say in their excuse that they were unwilling to hold communion with Betrayers, since it has been most clearly proved that they themselves were the sons of Betrayers. Therefore you have no way of excusing them, for it is quite obvious that they had no charity, without which we can’t call what they did mar- tyrdom. Martyrdom can’t exist without charity. Without charity, the very great- est and most commanding virtue loses...
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