Saint Mauritius’ Day

St. Mauritius’ Day is a holiday observed on the 22nd of September, celebrating Saint Maurice—a Christian soldier who was allegedly martyred and eventually became the patron saint of the Vatican’s Swiss Guard. This holiday is mainly observed in the Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden.

Since it is a public holiday in that canton, schools and most businesses are closed on that day. It is a day often called just Mauritius Day or Mauritiustag.

The History of St. Mauritius’ Day

According to most legends, Mauritius hailed from Syria and was the Roman commander of the Theban Legion. This legion was allegedly composed entirely of Christians and had been called from Thebes, Egypt, to assist Emperor Maximian in Gaul.

They were tasked with the job of clearing the St. Bernard Pass across the Alps, but when the Emperor ordered them to harass some Christians in the area, they refused. To punish the unit, Maximian ordered a decimation—a process in which every tenth soldier of the legion was killed.

This resulted in Mauritius encouraging the legion to ignore more and more orders, which, of course, led to a second decimation. More disobedience ensued from Mauritius, and eventually, the entire legion was put to death.

Observing St. Mauritius’ Day

This holiday is observed with religious ceremonies and by individual prayer and contemplation. People can also take the time to learn more about St. Mauritius. While celebrating this holiday, they can use the hashtag #MauritiusDay or #Mauritiustag on their social media accounts for the day.

Where is it celebrated?
Switzerland (Common local holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 22 Sunday
Next year (2025)
September 22 Monday
Last year (2023)
September 22 Friday