Saint Maurice and the Theban Legion

Saint Maurice and the Theban Legion

Soldiers and Martyrs
(† 286)

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.

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Saint Thomas of Villanova

Saint Thomas of Villanova

Bishop of Valencia
(1488-1555)

Saint Thomas, the glory of the Spanish Church in the sixteenth century, was born in the diocese of Toledo in 1488. His mother was a Christian of extraordinary tenderness for the poor. God worked a miracle for her one day, when her servants had given away absolutely all the flour in their storeroom. When another beggar came to the door, she told them to go back once more and look again, and they found the storeroom filled with flour. Her little son followed his mother’s example, and one day gave away, to six poor persons in succession, the six young chicks which had been following the hen around in the yard. When his mother asked where they were, he said, You didn’t leave any bread in the house, Mama, so I gave them the chicks! I would have given the hen if another beggar had come.

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