Did you know that the patron saint of southern Germany and parts of France, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland, is a man of African origin?
He is Saint Maurice of Aganaum, born less than 250 years after Jesus Christ. He became a general in the Roman army, stationed in what is now France. Saint Maurice and his six thousand African soldiers were ordered to put down a rebellion against the empire. When Saint Maurice discovered they all were Christians, he and his men refused to fight their fellow Christians. They also refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods. For this, the emperor had Saint Maurice and nearly all of his Theban Legion executed. A basilica in Aganaum, Switzerland enshrines their relic remains today.
Saint Maurice, pray for us.