Martyrs of the Theban Legion

These men were mainly Egyptians, making up a Roman legion under the command of co-Emperor Maximilian, a hater of Christians. At one point, while serving in France, the legion made camp in order to perform their necessary pagan rituals. Commanders Maurice, Exuperius, Candidus, Innocent, Vitalis, two Victors, and the men of the legion refused to worship the pagan deities. They also possibly refused to massacre the innocent local population. To make them obey, the order was given to behead a tenth of the legion’s men. Since the legion continued to refuse, this order was repeated until none of the 6,600 Christians were left. A basilica, St. Maurice-en-Valais, was constructed in the late 300s to commemorate this noble act. The legion’s feast day is September 22.

 Questions for Reflection:

  • When have you needed to stand up for your values?

  • How can you try to help people get over their prejudices?