The Abbey of Saint Maurice d’Agaunu:
The Abbey of Saint Maurice d’Agaunu is a monastery of canons regular, which dates from the 6th century. It is situated against a cliff in a section of the road between Geneva and the Simplon Pass to northern Italy. Before talking about the Abbey, it is best to understand its history.
About Saint Maurice and the Theban Legion:
Saint Maurice is said to have led the Theban Legion, composed of Christian Roman soldiers from Egypt, in the 3rd Century AD. At that time in history, the average Roman Legion numbered about 6,000 men. It was here that the Theban Legion was martyred in 286 AD, having refused to sacrifice to the Emperor Maximian. Orders were given to decimate the Legion by putting to death a tenth of its men, then repeated two more times until the entire legion was put to death.
Their feast day is held on September 22.
Founding of the Abbey of Saint Maurice d’Agaunu:
Around the year 380, Theodule, the first known bishop of the Valais region, found the relics of the martyrs of the Theban Legion under the cliff here and built the first church in their honor. King Sigismund then founded the abbey in 515, instituting perpetual prayer on the site. The abbey itself is a territorial abbacy and not part of any diocese.
The Treasury in The Abbey of Saint Maurice d’Agaunu:
On the way to Rome, the Abbey has welcomed pilgrims and curious people since the early Middle Ages, whether kings or merchants. Many people, since its foundation, have offered objects, reliquaries and shrines as testimony to their homage to the Theban martyrs. These donations make up the Treasury, an illustration of the continuing spiritual influence of the venerable Abbey, which has survived the centuries despite various calamities, invasions, fires, falling rocks. It can be seen today in all its sacred splendor.
The Gift Shop in The Abbey of Saint Maurice d’Agaunu:
There you will find: jewelry, monastic products, devotional objects, souvenirs bearing the image of Saint Maurice, cards and CDs. The bookstore section will quench the thirst for historical and religious knowledge of young and old alike.
Access to the store is free during site hours that they are open. If you cannot come during their regualar hours, you can shop on their online store. You will find a wide range of their flagship products there.
Traveling to The Abbey of Saint Maurice d’Agaunu:
The Abbey of St Maurice d’Aquane monastery can be reached by train from cities in both Switzerland and France. The Abbey is located right in the town of St Maurice, a 5 minute walk from the train station.
Address: Avenue d’Agaune 19, 1890 Saint-Maurice
Click here for the official website of The Abbey of Saint Maurice d’Agaunu (in French).