Saint Maurice Coptic Orthodox Church
St. John’s, Newfoundland
St. Maurice & the Theban Legion
Saint Maurice was brought up in the region of Thebes (Luxor — Egypt) and became a soldier in the Roman army. He was gradually promoted until he became the leader of the Theban legion, formed of 6600 soldiers. This legion was sent, upon the order of the Emperor Maximian, to resist a revolt of the Gauls at the western borders of the Roman Empire. After the revolt was quelled, the Emperor Maximian issued an order that the whole army should offer
sacrifices to the Roman gods for the success of their mission. Saint Maurice and his soldiers were asked to share in this action, but they refused and declared their faith in Jesus Christ. The leader Maurice also sent a letter to the Emperor in the name of all members of the legion declaring their faith in Christ. The Emperor was disappointed and gave orders to execute one tenth of the members of the legion, in order to terrify the rest. However, the soldiers accepted torture declaring their faith in Christ. The Emperor then ordered the killing of all of them. All members of the legion, headed by Saint Maurice, were martyred. The date of his martyrdom is 25th of the Coptic month Toot.