The Legionnaires of St. Maurice is a Catholic Mens’ group organized to provide mutual support and encouragement for Catholic men in helping them grow in the Catholic faith as fathers, husbands and single men, and to translate that growth into leading their families and society back to Jesus Christ through tangible sacrifice.
Spiritual & Corporal Exercises
The Legionnaires prayer life is centered around a Eucharistic and Marian piety with a special focus on eucharistic adoration, Marian devotions like the rosary, and devotions to St. Maurice, St. Joseph and St. Michael the Archangel. Aside from personal prayer time, the Legionnaires are also committed to restoring the place of family prayer within Catholic families with the father, as head of the household, taking a leadership role in fostering and encouraging the family’s spiritual devotions.
In addition to developing a spiritual regiment, the Legionnaires are committed to corporal acts of mercy. These corporal acts of mercy begin by sacrificing above and beyond what is required of a Catholic father in his family. In particular, this means fostering the ideal of chivalry by exceeding the normal sacrifices required of him to his wife and all women. These works of mercy also extend to the local church and then to the society at large. A Legionnaire is to make himself available to do the Lord’s work. He is not his own man. He belongs to Jesus.
The Legionnaires of St. Maurice also consider growth in the knowledge and understanding of the faith key to the proper formation of a Catholic man. Ignorance of the faith leaves Catholic men defenseless in a hostile culture. Since education and apologetics form a core part of a Legionnaire’s formation, therefore, Legionnaires are expected to challenge themselves in this area and become more knowledgeable about their Faith. One cannot impart what one does not have.
The final mission of the Legionnaires is to challenge and to confront society to return to its Christian roots. St. Maurice’s life was a testament of courage and resistance to the State (i.e. Emperor, Greater Society) when the State contravened God’s laws. Legionnaires are to model St. Maurice’s courage, fidelity, and resistance to those elements in society and in the church which betray the Gospel. Legionnaires do not bow to false gods, false compassion, or false gospels. Beginning first with the family, then to the local parish community, then to society at large, every Legionnaire is called upon to make the necessary sacrifices to impact society for Jesus Christ in a real and tangible way. Legionnaires are expected to “bring it” when the battle is picked by their brothers in the Legion.
To unify Catholic men in spiritual brotherhood for mutual encouragement by rediscovering and promoting Catholic masculinity and fatherhood, and by growing in the knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Faith for the renewal of our society.
- to unite Catholic men in an association of mutual support and brotherhood;
- to foster a prayer life of fraternal unity and spiritual battle to confront the powers and principalities of this dark age;
- to ignite and sustain the image of the Catholic father and masculinity in the Church and society by re-committing our lives to our wives and children and recovering the sacrificial role of father and husband;
- to grow in understanding of the Catholic faith and defend it inside and outside the Catholic Church against those who wish to compromise her solemn teachings, laws, and disciplines;
- to promote and encourage the virtue of chivalry in order to defeat anti-Christian feminism and restore the natural relationship between a woman and a man;
- to advance and support pro-life and pro-family initiatives against the forces of death by actively promoting and participating in causes and initiatives which undermine the culture of death and establish a culture of life.
St. Maurice and Companions
St. Maurice was an officer in the Theban Legion, a unit in the army of the Emperor Maximian Herculius. This Legion, from Upper Egypt, was entirely Christian, and when Maximian ordered his soldiers at Octodurum (now called Martigny, Switzerland) to sacrifice to the gods as a way of ensuring victory in battle, Maurice and two other officers led the Theban Legion in refusing, and the Legion with drew to Agaunum (now St.-Maurice, in the Swiss Canton of Valais). With Maurice encouraging the legionnaires to remain constant, even after the Emperor had the legion decimated (every tenth man killed), the legionnaires answered, “We have arms in our hands, but we do not resist because we would rather die innocent than live by any sin.” Maximian ordered the rest of his army to kill the Christian legionnaires. The Theban legion numbered about 6,600 men, but the actual number killed remains unclear. Others were martyred for refusing to share in the spoils of the legionnaires. St. Eucherius, a fifth-century bishop of Lyons, noted that many miracles took place at the shrine of these martyrs. They are buried under the Basilica of St.-Maurice-en-Valais in Switzerland. (Excerpted from 2020 Saints Calendar & Daily Planner, Tan Books).
Symbols: Armour; banner with lion rampant; sword; seven stars; eagle on a shield; red cross;
Often Portrayed As: soldier; soldier being executed with other soldiers; knight (sometimes a Moor) in full armour, bearing a standard and a palm; knight in armour with a red cross on his breast, which is the badge of the Sardinian Order of Saint Maurice. (Source)
Hymn to St. Maurice
Lyrics by Mary Ann & Peter Foley. Used with permission.
Great Saint Maurice loving patron of our family here
By thy prayers and supplication keep us safe from sin and fear
Holy martyr faithful witness we revere.
Captain in the Theban Legion thy true prince would’st not betray
Ordered then false gods to worship to alone our Lord did’st pray
And the martyr’s crown did’st merit on that day.
God our Father Thou who reign’st in glory now and evermore
And thy Son anointed Saviour type of martyrs Heaven’s door
Thou Consoler Holy Spirit we adore.