Christian soldiers mutinied and withdrew from the army


St Maurice and Companions

Celebrated on September 22nd


The patron of soldiers, the Swiss Guards, weavers and dyers , St Maurice was a black soldier in the 2nd century Roman army. In around 287AD, he served under General Maximian Herculius, in a legion that had been recruited entirely from Christians in Upper Egypt.

They were sent to Gaul to put down a revolt by Bagaudae tribe. When the army reached the River Rhone, the General ordered every soldier to make a sacrifice to the pagan gods, before the battle. The Legion refused to a man. When Maximian ordered them to harass some local Christians, they also refused. Maurice was their primicerius, or principal officer. In a form of Christian mutiny the men withdrew from the army and set up camp at Agaunum, now called Saint Maurice-en-Valaise.

When Maximian could not persuade them to make sacrifices to the gods, he ordered them to be killed. At first he had every tenth man executed. Then the entire legion was put to death. “We have seen our comrades killed,” they said. “Rather than sorrow we rejoice in the honour done to them.”

Writing in the 5th century, Eucherius of Lyons, says more than 6,600 men died in the massacre. Other historians say a great number of men lost their lives. The place in Switzerland where this occurred, known as Agaunum, is now named Saint Maurice-en-Valais, site of the Abbey of Saint Maurice-en-Valais.

St Maurice became very popular throughout Europe and is patron of many places, including Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia. In art he is usually depicted as a tall black foot soldier. Eight ancient English churches are dedicated to him.

(from ICN)


They were martyrs and in heaven. Now, I wouldn’t sacrifice to pagan gods. Nor would I harass anybody. Curious though, being martyred or fighting in self defense. Just me! No problem. There is a bridge in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Muslims invaded often. On this bridge 100,000 gave up their lives for Jesus. I picture myself 5 rows back. There are cute kids in front of me… HMMM I can’t see me not trying to rise up to save kids.
Do You recall those sweet Syrian Christian men that were in orange outfits chained together. There were 10 men. 9 Christians. As each surrendered for decapitation, they verbally declined converting to Islam. #10 offered his head. He said, what ever they had, I want. He was killed. I saw 1 Guard for 4 men. They could use chains to attack. If they died, so what. Not to save my life but to stop evil & save others. I hope I never have to deal w such!
Fight evil or silently surrender??
God help us understand what You want from us.
In Jesus name


It’s easy to arm chair quarter back a situation you’re not in. Those men who were decapitated were likely tortured for days before that point and were incapable of fighting.


The odds of them actually “saving others” are minuscule given that they were likely weak from torture as well as outnumbered. They may have been inwardly relieved that their ordeal was at an end and they would be seeing Jesus. Also, don’t underestimate the psychological impact of one who defies his killers by willingly, strongly and perhaps even joyously going to his death. It is a strong statement that the worst evil man can do is nothing in view of God’s promises.


Thanks rob2 inspirational.


Hey Rob I had to buy an eightieth birthday card today for a friend and on the front was a montage of pictures relating to the year 1938, one of the pictures was the film poster for Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn! So that’s where you’re icon comes from! I bought it of course :blush:


Abbey of Saint Maurice-en-Valais


Your right to consider weakness and exhaustion.
I hope I never have to be involved in such a scenario.
A Georgian stated Orthodox Catholics are taught not to resist or fight.
Lord knows.


I have read that Japanese people considered it honorable to die for a cause like Jesus, so they would practically rush to be martyred, bringing all their young children and family with them. The Jesuits who went there reportedly found this alarming.


The first church, endured much. Their belief in heaven and the Ressurection was total. The reason to try and escape then, would be to have them shoot or stab you. Better that food for animals or many horrendous tortures.
The book, THE SONG OF THE SCAFFOLD is beautiful. Time FRENCH REVOLUTION! The aristocracy and church were going to the Guillotine. There was a novice in a convent of nuns. She was terrified of getting caught & death. She was young. An older nun gave her regular clothing,and she escaped before the nuns, were captured. The day, the nuns were brought to the execution site, she was in the crowds. They began singing “Veni Sancti Spiritu”, repeatedly, as the volume lessened,w the loss of one more nun, to the scaffold. The young novice was crying and when only a few were left, she joined her sisters in faith and death.
Beautiful real story, I believe.


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