Watermark Small

St. Maurice?
Francesco and Valerio Zuccato, St. Victor, 1558, mosaic, Museum of St. Mark’s Cathedral, Venice, Italy. The museum label identifies this Roman soldier as St. Victor. The Roman Martyrology lists two soldiers named Victor who were martyred by decapitation during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian and one in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The iconography of this image would be appropriate for any of the three: the garb of a Roman soldier, the palm branch, and the sword, which is common in images of decapitated martyrs. But Victor of Marseille is by far the most famous of the three, and the most likely to be the one intended by this mosaic. Victor the Moor would probably be portrayed as an African at this late date, and “Victor the Martyr” is even less well known.

Today is the Feast of Saint Victor of Marseilles

(d. 290 A.D.)

St. Victor of Marseilles was a Christian soldier serving in the Roman imperial army in Marseilles, France. Christianity was thriving there, until Emperor Maximian arrived with the intention of putting the Christians to death. This caused the Christians to fear, and St. Victor would go from house to house under the cover of night to admonish them to stand strong in their faith. This behavior drew attention, and during one of his nightly rounds he was arrested. The Roman prefects tried to dissuade him from following a “dead man” (Jesus), but St. Victor testified boldly for the truth of the Christian faith. Enraged, the prefects had him bound and dragged through the streets. Victor was undeterred and continued to denounce the Roman gods. His tortures were renewed until his torturers grew tired, after which he was thrown into a dungeon. That night he was visited by angels, and his three guards were converted and baptized that same night. The next morning the Emperor had the guards beheaded, while St. Victor was kept alive for fresh torments. After three days of abuse, the Emperor commanded Victor to burn incense to the gods. Instead, St. Victor walked up to the altar and kicked it over with his foot. In retaliation, his foot was cut off. Seeing that his efforts to cause Victor to apostatize were useless, the Emperor finally had him crushed to death on a grindstone. His body was thrown into the sea before being recovered and buried by Christians. His tomb became a place where many miracles occurred.

Credit: Morning Offering, https://www.morningoffering.com



Martyr. The tomb of Saint Victor in Marseilles, was one of the most popular pilgrim shrines in western Europe, from the 9th century onwards. According to early writings about him, he was a Christian soldier martyred at Marseilles in about 290, during the persecutions of Maximian. After his conversion he refused to pay homage to pagan gods, was arrested, imprisoned, tortured and eventually put to death.

St Victor is one of many soldiers in the great armies of Rome who became Christian once they heard the Word of God.

His feast today is still kept in many parts of the Christian world.



Saint Victor of Marseilles, martyr, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

Email Signature Logo

We welcome your comments.