Switzerland: Abbey of Saint-Maurice celebrates its 1500th anniversary

Source: FSSPX News

In a press release issued October 8th, the Abbey of Saint-Maurice (Valais) announced that the number of visitors to the abbey viewing a special exhibition put into place to celebrate 1500 years since its foundation exceeded expectations. In the space of one year, around 42,000 people visited the oldest functioning Christian monastery, or 20% more than was initially predicted. From here to late December 2015, this would mean a total of 50,000 visitors, excluding monks, or 7 times the number of visitors before the special exhibition of the monastery treasures was set up. “Those in charge are already planning a packed cultural program for 2016 – 2018,” according to the release.

The abbey of Saint Maurice owes its origins to the sanctuary raised on the tomb of St. Maurice and his companions, Theban soldiers (from Thebes in upper Egypt) who died rather than give up their Christian faith in the pass of Agaune in the reign of Diocletian and Maximian (285 – 291). Founded in 515, in the Rhone valley by the Burgundian prince Sigismond, converted from Arianism to Catholicism by St. Avit, bishop of Vienna, the abbey was solemnly founded on September 22, 515.

(Sources: kipa-apic.ch – Abbaye St Maurice – DICI no.324 dated November 6, 2015)

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