Sunday, September 22, 2013

Know Your Saints: Saint Maurice

September 22 marks the feast day of Saint Maurice.

Some people call him Maurice.

Why ever is he here? Read on!

For those who don't know1, Maurice was the leader of the Roman Theban Legion. According to the Interwebs, the Roman Emperor Maximian called upon the Theban Legion to help quell a revolt in Gaul. So Maurice and 6,599 of his closest friends headed off to Gaul and put said revolt down, much to the chagrin, presumably, of Asterix2.

One would think that Maximian would be all, "Nice job, bro!" One would be wrong. Not content with kicking Galatian arse, Maximian tried to get Maurice and his legion to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods for their success and, quoth Wikipedia, "harass some local Christians." Maurice, being a good Christian, said no. Somewhat annoyed, Maximian again asked them to make their sacrifices. The legion again said no. Maximian, now somewhat annoyed, ordered every tenth man in put to death with the threat of a second "decimation" unless they obeyed his order. The legion refused to budge. Now seriously ticked off, Maximian ordered the second decimation and warned the legion that they would all be killed if they persisted in their disobedience. Maurice, encouraging his men to stay true their faith, told Maximian to bugger off. Convinced now that Maurice was a stubborn sort, Maximian ordered the whole legion killed.

Sorry, folks. No happy endings here. The massacre was completed. Maurice and his entire legion were put to death.

Now that I have you all depressed, you might be asking yourself, "Self, why is he posting about a massacre from the 3rd Century?"

Glad you asked!

Since then Maurice has gone through the application and approval process to become a fully venerated saint. He is now the patron saint of soldiers, swordsmiths, armies, and infantrymen. Got menstrual cramps? Maurice is your guy. And of course, Saint Maurice is the patron saint of the pompetus of love.3

"But self, swords? Cramps? What does this have to do with a wine blog?"

Well, despite my unfortunate lack of Catholicism, this could be a result of me feeling close to the Catholic church after a few post-mass Guinnesses4. It could also be that I started drinking when the Braves clinched the NL East division title today and kept going because, for crying out loud, did you SEE the crap the Falcons put forth this afternoon?!

But really, St. Maurice is also the patron saint of the Piedmont region of Italy, home of delicious Barbaresco and Barolo wines. So, in honor of St. Maurice, we encourage everyone to join us in opening up a delicious Piedmont wine to enjoy.


Data sourced from Wikipedia and the Coptic Orthodox Church Network. Image of Saint Maurice is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available at under the Creative Commons cc-by-sa 3.0 license.

1 Like, say, me before I started Googling random crap last night.
2 I have it on good authority that Obelix stayed home that day.
3 It's entirely possible that I made that up. Like, 100% entirely.
4 Firefox recommended "guiltiness" as an alternative there. Make of this what you will.

No comments: