St Martin (316 – 397) was born in Savaria, Hungary. His father was a senior military officer and stationed in Italy where St Martin grew up.
At 10, St Martin started attending a Christian Church, against his parents’ wishes, and at eighteen, he chose to be baptised.
As the son of an officer, St Martin was required to join the army but his unit had a primarily ceremonial role. However, prior to a battle with the Gaul’s, St Martin refused to fight saying, “I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight”. He was arrested, charged with cowardice and released from military service.
St Martin became a follower of St Hilary and established a monastery in the hope of living a monastic lifestyle. It was not to be, instead, he was appointed Bishop of Tours so, he enthusiastically set about establishing a successful Parish system and became renown for his generosity and miracle work through his daily pastoral care.
Perhaps one of the most famous miracles associated with St Martin during his life, was when he was a soldier and split his military cloak in two, to share with a beggar. That night he had a dream in which he saw Jesus wearing his ‘half-cloak’. When he awoke, his half-cloak was fully restored.
St Martin’s Feast Day is the 11th November. He is the Patron Saint of beggars and soldiers.
St Martin de Tours:
Pray that we will be generous in our help and support to the plight of the poor.
Glory be to the…