See also:martyr, who, with his companions, is commemorated by the
See also:Roman Catholic
See also:Church on the 22nd of
See also:September . The
See also:form of his
See also:story is found in the Passio ascribed to Eucherius,
See also:bishop of
See also:Lyons, c . 45o, who relates how the " Theban "
See also:legion commanded by
See also:Mauritius was sent to
See also:north Italy to reinforce the army of Maximinian . Maximinian wished to use them in persecuting the Christians, but as they themselves were of this faith, they refused, and for this, after having been twice decimated, the legion was exterminated at Octodurum (Martigny) near
See also:Geneva . In
See also:late versions this
See also:legend was
See also:expanded and varied, the martyrdom was connected with a refusal to take
See also:part in a
See also:great sacrifice ordered at Octodurum and the name of Exsuperius was added to that of Mauritius .
See also:Gregory of
See also:Tours (c . 539—593) speaks of a
See also:company of the same legion which suffered at Cologne . The
See also:Magdeburg Centuries, in spite of Mauritius being the
See also:saint of Magdeburg, declared the whole legend fictitious; J . A. du Bordien La Legion thebeenne (Amsterdam, 17o5); J . J . Hottinger in Helvetische Kirchengeschichte (Zurich, 1708) ; and F . W .
Rettberg, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (
See also:Gottingen, 1845–1848) have also demonstrated its untrustworthiness, while the Bollandlsts, De Rivaz and Joh .
See also:Friedrich uphold it . Apart from the a priori improbability of a whole legion being martyred, the difficulties are that in 286 Christians everywhere throughout the
See also:empire were not molested, that at no later date have we evidence of the presence of Maximinian in the
See also:Valais, and that none of the writers nearest to the event (
See also:Eusebius, Lactantius,
See also:Orosius, Sulpicius Severus) know anything of it . It is of course quite possible that isolated cases of
See also:officers being put to
See also:death for their faith occurred during Maximinian's reign, and on some such cases the legend may have grown up during the century and a
See also:half between Maximinian and Eucherius . The cult of St
See also:Maurice and the Theban legion is found in
See also:Switzerland (where two places bear the name in Valais, besides St
See also:Moritz in
See also:Grisons), along the Rhine, and in north Italy . The foundation of the abbey of St Maurice (Agaunum) in the Valais is usually ascribed to
See also:Sigismund of
See also:Burgundy (515) .
See also:Relics of the saint are preserved here and at
See also:Brieg and
See also:Turin .
MAURICE OF NASSAU
JOHN FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE (1805-1872)
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