Book of Saints – Maurice and Others


(Mauritius, Moritz) (Saints) Martyrs (September 22) (3rd century) The town of Saint Maurice-en-Valais (the ancient Agaunum), in the Diocese of Sion in Switzerland, takes its modern name from this Saint. He was an officer in the famous Theban Legion, which was composed almost entirely of Christian soldiers, and had been sent by the Emperor Diocletian as a division of an army intended for the coercion of the malcontents who had risen in insurrection in Gaul. In crossing the Alps, the order went out that the whole army should join in a sacrifice to be made to the gods of Rome for the success of the Imperial arms. The Christian soldiers of the Legion refused to attend, and were therefore sentenced to death, and being surrounded by other troops, massacred. The savage Maximinian Herculeus was in command, and ruthlessly had them exterminated to the last man. These Martyrs are often described as having been between six and seven thousand in number. This may be exaggerated. The Roman Martyrology mentions by name, Maurice, Exuperius, Candidus, Victor, Innocent and Vital is; and adds, “with their fellow soldiers of the same Legion.” The date is A.D. 287. Saint Eucherius of Lyons has left a graphic account of the tragedy. Objections raised in the sixteenth century against the tradition of the Theban Legion have been ably and adequately confuted by many authors, both Catholic and non-Catholic.

MLA Citation

  • Monks of Ramsgate. “Maurice and Others”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 December 2014. Web. 23 January 2019. <>