St. Martin of Tours


Also Known as:
Bishop and Confessor

Feast:
November 11th

Born:
316 AD

Died:
November 8, 397

Canonized:
Pre-Congregation

Patronage:
against poverty; against alcoholism; Bahrija, Malta; beggars; Buenos Aires, horses; hotel-keepers; innkeepers


 

He was raised in Northern Italy by both of his parents. When he was 10 he began going to a Christian church against his parent’s wishes.  Christianity had just been made a legal religion a few years before, and his parents had not exactly believed in the religion. Though he was just learning the ways of the church, and even became a candidate for baptism, he wanted to go traveling with his father to Italy with him.One of the most famous stories of St Martin of Tours was the story with the ragged beggar. One night while riding near the city gates, he noticed a ragged beggar cold and shivering beneath a tree. No one had stopped to help him and he felt bad. So since he had nothing to give him, cut his own military cloak in half and shared it with the beggar. Later that night when Martin was asleep, he had a dream and Jesus was wearing the exact piece of his cloak that he had cut.

One day while walking, he saw some people mistreating a man with leprosy. So he went up to the sick man, hugged him, and said, “Jesus is suffering in you my friend.” Another time he saw a group of people chained and was waiting to be beheaded the next day because they could not pay the taxes they owed to Count Avititus. Martin soon hurried to the counts palace, but the gates were locked and everyone was asleep because it was night. So he knelt and prayed to God to save the innocent from such cruel death. While asleep Count Avititus dreamed of an angel telling him to rise for a servant of our Lord is waiting for you outside the palace. When he exited the palace he saw Martin there at the gate and Martin told him, “Come and free the poor people you have sentenced to such a cruel death. Forgive their trespasses and God will forgive yours.” The Count gave in and set them all free.

Lord, if your people still have need of my services, I will not avoid the toil. Your will be done. I have fought the good fight long enough. Yet if you bid me continue to hold the battle line in defense of your camp, I will never beg to be excused from failing strength. I will do the work you entrust to me. While you command, I will fight beneath your banner. Amen.

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