Saint Maurice and the Theban Legion
Soldiers and Martyrs
The Roman legion of Christians, called the Theban Legion, under the presidency of their General, Maurice, numbered more than six thousand men. They marched from the East into Gaul, which was in revolt. They were camped near the Lake of Geneva, when they received orders to join with the others in a solemn sacrifice to the gods. They retired a little farther away, to a site today called Saint Maurice d’Augaune, in order to abstain, but were told to return and join in the festival with the others. They found themselves in the sad necessity of disobeying the command. It was not an act of felony for these brave soldiers, who had already fought many battles, but of heroic loyalty. Nonetheless, the barbaric prince gave the order to decimate the Legion. It would seem the emperor’s messengers might have feared a forced resistance, but the disciples of Jesus Christ hoped for nothing but a peaceful victory over the world and the demon, with all his false gods.