|Saint Maurice and
Companions, Martyrs - Died early 4th century
According to a story first recorded about 450, St. Maurice led a legion of Christians from Thebes in Egypt that was serving in Agaunum, in what is now Switzerland. When the legion refused the Emperor Maximian's order to sacrifice to the gods it was ordered slaughtered. Agaunum is now known as St. Moritz in honor of the saint.
St. Maurice's story is retold in the Golden Legend, where St. Exupery is numbered among the other officers in the legion, but its historicity has been questioned in modern times.
Because his name is related to Latin Maurus, "Moor," St. Maurice is often portrayed as a black African. He is usually shown in armor, as at left, and sometimes carries a banner with a cross or an imperial emblem.
Feast day: September 22
At left, detail from Grien's Adoration of the Magi
El Greco's painting of the martyrdom of St. MauriceWith other saints:
In Carpaccio's St. Vitalis on Horseback, 1514Hagiography:
Golden Legend #141: html or pdf
Miscellaneous literary sources compiled by David Woods (cached)
David Woods's translation of BHL 5740 (cached)