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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Feast of St.Maurice and companions, Mm

Maurice with certain brave Companions was martyred about the 287, near Agaunum, in Gaul. These holy men are by some authorities identified with the Theban Legion, that is, a band of Christian soldiers recruited from Upper Egypt. At the frontiers of Gaul, the army paused to sacrifice to the gods ; and the Theban Legion, that they might not be defiled by any share in the unhallowed rites, withdrew themselves. Therefore the Emperor sent soldiers unto them to bid them, if they valued their lives, to come back to the sacrifice. They answered that the Christian religion did not allow them so to do. He therefore despatched a part of his army to the killing of one man in every ten of them. By their own will, and at the urgent exhortation of Maurice, they chose rather to endure this martyrdom than to obey the commandment of the unrighteous Emperor. At the last, the Emperor, upon the 22nd day of September, bade his whole army fall upon them and slay them all. And they confessed Christ bravely even to the end.

Antiphon on the Benedictus
Wonderful things hath he done among the people, * and all the congregation shall declare his alms.

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that this solemn festival of thy blessed Martyrs, Maurice and his fellows, may in such wise gladden us ; that, like as we do lean upon their advocacy, so we may ever glory in their heavenly birth, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

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