Roman Agaunum, the modern Saint-Maurice in the canton Valais in southwesternmost Switzerland, was a minor post confined between the Rhône and the mountains along the well-travelled road that led from Roman Genava, modern Geneva, over the Alps by the Great St. Bernard Pass to Italy.

Near Agaunum, in a place still identifiable as a former temple to Mercury, god of travellers, recently excavated behind the abbey's present sanctuary, a revelation led to the discovery of martyr's bones during the time of Theodore, Bishop of Octodurus (now Martigny), who was in office 350 AD. the etiological narrative explaining the cache of human remains led to the cult of an entire Roman legion, the legendary Theban Legion, martyred at the spot, when this entirely Christian legion refused to sacrifice to the Emperor Maximian and were put to death, by decimation, one out of ten at a time, until all were martyred. Their leader according to the legend was Saint Maurice.

The martyrology was written by Eucherius, Bishop of Lyon, who died in 494 AD. He wrote:"We often hear, do we not, a particular locality or city is held in high honour because of one single martyr who died there, and quite rightly, because in each case the saint gave his precious soul to the most high God. How much more should this sacred place, Agaunum, be reverenced, where so many thousands of martyrs have been slain, with the sword, for the sake of Christ."

Eucherius' telling of the legend reports that the shrine erected by Theodore was already in his time a basilica that was the destination of pilgrims. It lay within the diocese of the Bishop of Sion. The actual site of the martyrdom (or of the cache of bones) was pointed out to pilgrims as the "true place" the "vrai lieu", a name it still carries, as Verroliez, according to local etymology.

In 515, the basilica became the center of a monastery built on land donated by Sigismund of Burgundy, the first king of the Burgundians to convert from Arianism to Trinitarian Christianity. His personal conversion was not pressed upon his Burgundian nobles. With the cooperation of the Catholic bishops, Sigismund set out to remake the existing hospice and community that already ministered to pilgrims around the shrine. The result was a unique development in its time: a monastery created "ex nihilo" under patronage, rather than one that developed organically around the person of a revered monk. Between 515 and 521, Sigismund lavishly endowed his royal foundation, and he transferred monks from other Burgundian monasteries, to ensure that a constant liturgy was kept. The liturgy, known as the "laus perennis" "perpetual praise" of relays of choirs, was an innovation for Western Europe, imported from Constantinople; it was distinctive to the abbey of St. Maurice and the practice spread widely from there.

St. Maurice's Abbey at Agaunum was the chief abbey of the Burgundian kingdom. In 961 the relics of Maurice and the martyrs were conveyed to the new cathedral being erected at Magdeburg by Emperor Otto I but the abbey has continued to flourish.

External links

* [ Agaunum] , "Catholic Encyclopedia"
* William B. Sweetser, Jr, [ "From Diocletian to Lenin and Beyond: The Continuing Witness of St. Maurice"]
* [ Official home page of Saint Maurice]
* Photos: [ Maurice's Abbey] , [ Icon] , [ of Abbey Church]

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См. также в других словарях:

  • Agaunum — • In the diocese of Sion, Switzerland, owes its fame to an event related by St. Eucherius, Bishop of Lyons, the martyrdom of a Roman legion, known as the Theban Legion , at the beginning of the fourth century Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Agaunum — (a. Geogr.), Stadt der Nantuater im Narbonensischen Gallien, jetzt St. Maurice …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • AGAUNUM — Helvetiorum oppid. quod rupibus undique cingitur, apud Rhodanum fluv. in confinio Vallesiae regionis inter Sedunum ad ortum 24. et Genevam ad Occidentem 30. mill. pass. hodie S. Mauritzs. longitud. 28. 25. latitud. 45. 39. Olim etiam Ternadae… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Agaunum — VS dient als Kürzel für den Schweizer Kanton Wallis und wird verwendet, um Verwechslungen mit anderen Einträgen des Namens Saint Maurice zu vermeiden. Saint Maurice …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Severinus von Agaunum — Fenster in der Kirche Notre Dame de l Assomption in Château Landon mit den Initialen des hl. Severinus von Agaunum Severinus von Agaunum († 506 oder 507 in Château Landon in Frankreich) ist ein Heiliger der katholischen Kirche. Sein Gedenktag ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mauritius, S. (10) — 10S. Mauritius et Soc. M. M. (22. Sept.). Das Martyrthum dieses hl. Mauritius und seiner Legion ist durch die strenge Kritik, welche gegen dasselbe ergangen ist, keineswegs erschüttert, sondern erst recht aufgehellt und historisch festgestellt… …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

  • Theban Legion — Saint Gereon of the Theban Legion and soldier companions, Stefan Lochner, c. 1440 Martyrs Died 286 AD Agaunum …   Wikipedia

  • St. Mauritius — Darstellung des hl. Mauritius als „Mohr“ im Dom St. Mauritius, Magdeburg (um 1250) Mauritius (deutsch: Moritz, frz. Maurice; * bei Theben in Ägypten, † um 290 in Agaunum im Wallis) war der Legende nach der Anführer der Thebaischen Legion und wird …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Continual prayer — St. Maurice s Abbey bell tower Perpetual prayer (Latin: laus perennis) is the Christian practice of continuous prayer carried out by a group. Contents 1 History …   Wikipedia

  • St. Maurice's Abbey — ( fr. Abbaye de Saint Maurice d Agaune) in the modern town of Saint Maurice, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, anciently the Roman staging post of Agaunum, now in the diocese of Sion, is situated against a cliff in a picturesque section of the… …   Wikipedia

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