St. Maurice's Abbey

The Abbey of Saint -Maurice (French: Abbaye de Saint -Maurice d' Agaune; Latin: Sancti Territorialis Abbatia Mauritii Agaunensis ) is a monastery of the Augustinian Canons in Saint -Maurice, Valais Canton, Switzerland. It is the oldest monastery of the West, which is uninterrupted.

Its origins date back to a shrine that was built over the grave of St. Maurice ( German St. Moritz ) and his Companions of the Theban Legion who had suffered along with him towards the end of the 3rd century AD martyrdom. The sanctuary was the ancient Roman staging post Agaunum.

The Holy Theodore, Bishop of Octodurus ( Martigny ), transferred the relics of the martyrs to 380 in the big caves at the foot of Felsentors through which the Rhone leaves the Valais. The Holy Sigismund, son of King Gundobad Burgundy, founded the monastery on 22 September 515 and the holy Abbot Ambrose ( 516-520 ) built the original shrine a new basilica. In the 9th century the monks were replaced by canons and in 1128 they took over the Augustine rule.

Saint- Maurice was. Sigismund below for important abbey in the kingdom of Burgundy The practiced there characteristic Liturgy of the laus perennis, the everlasting canticle, was an innovation for its time for Western Europe, since it was taken over by Konstantin Opel. From Saint- Maurice from this practice spread throughout Western Europe. To keep the everlasting song of praise was in progress, a large number of monks needed which is why Sigismund the monastery and richly endowed, many monks from the rest of the kingdom seconded there. 961 Emperor Otto I moved the relics of St. Maurice in the Cathedral of Magdeburg, which the attractiveness of the abbey for pilgrims dealt a heavy blow.

The basilica has undergone numerous renovations and new buildings over the centuries. It houses one of the richest church treasures of Europe, to which, inter alia, a Sardonyxgefäss, Theodoric the shrine, one of Charlemagne donated water jug ​​, a head reliquary of Saint Candidus and the shrines of St Maurice and St Sigismund belong.

The Abbey belong to any diocese and enjoys the status of a Territorial Abbey: The Abbot exerts its own jurisdiction over the 68 clerics affiliated with the monastery and about 6,574 believers in a territory of 9,685 ha. The abbot of Saint- Maurice is also the head of the same Augustinian Canons congregation.

Maurice Tornay studied from 1925 to 1931 at the College of the Abbey of Saint -Maurice. Tornay was later Augustinian Canons, died as a missionary in Tibet as a martyr and was beatified on 16 May 1993 by Pope John Paul II.