Tag Archives: St Martin of Tours

St Martin of Tours

John Clare written on 11 Nov 1841.

‘Tis Martinmass from rig to rig
Ploughed fields and meadow lands are blea
In hedge and field each restless twig
Is dancing on the naked tree
Flags in the dykes are bleached and brown
Docks by its sides are dry and dead
All but the ivy-boughs are brown
Upon each leaning dotterel’s head

Crimsoned with awes the awthorns bend
O’er meadow-dykes and rising floods
The wild geese seek the reedy fen
And dark the storm comes o’er the woods
The crowds of lapwings load the air
With buzes of a thousand wings
There flocks of starnels too repair
When morning o’er the valley springs

Saint Martin of Tours

St Martin and Christ

The feast of Saint Martin of Tours (+397) is always a very special for me. His hagiography inspires. Perhaps it is the similar for you. The words attributed to John Henry Cardinal Newman will orient your day.

O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin
both by his life and death,
make new, we pray,
the wonders of your grace in our hearts,
that neither death nor life
may separate us from your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

May Christ support us all the day long,
till the shadows lengthen,
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then in his mercy
may he give us a safe lodging,
and holy rest and peace at the last. Amen.

St Martin of Tours

St Martin of ToursToday, on the Church’s liturgical calendar is the memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, the first non-martyr that we have, and on the secular calendar is Veterans’ Day.

As a Catholic community of faith holy Mother Church sincerely prays for those who gave their lives in service of this country. May God grant them health, life, peace, and all good things and preserving them for many years.

May we take this opportunity to also remember the “veterans” of our Church, those men and women who have tirelessly supported their faith, who sustained their families and friends, who labored hard to build our churches when they arrived from their homelands, and who, in some cases, gave their lives to for their faith.

Personally, I pray and am grateful for the service of my father Edward who served in the US Air Force.

May Saint Martin of Tours, Saint George and all the saints sustain through holy intercession all Veterans before God the Father.

Saint Martin of Tours

Greco Martin Tours.jpg

Sundays are not
days on which the Church observes the liturgical memorial of saints. It happens
periodically, but today’s feast of Saint Martin of Tours (AD 316-397) is not
one them, at least not in the USA. Perhaps in Tours where the saint lived there
is a festive celebration of Martin, I am uncertain of such. But that today is
Veterans’ Day here and that the liturgical calendar recalls Martin, it seems
silly not to think of this most famous saint as we pray for Veterans. 

The Church prays,

O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin both by his life and death, make new, we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that neither death nor life may separate us from your love.

was widely honored for his holiness and witness to Jesus Christ; through his
intercession God performed many miracles and many came to Christian faith. It
is said that saints beget saints. Martin was a disciple of the famed  Saint Hilary of Poitiers
and Saint Lidorius desired that Martin succeed him as bishop of Tours and his
successors were Saint Britius and Saint Perpetuus; and Saint Benedict had a significant
devotion to Martin.

One of the famous stories of Martin is the one of the
cloak. As the narrative goes, Martin was approaching Amiens meeting a
poorly attired beggar who was obviously in need: cold, hungry and homeless. That he was a virtuous man, Martin cut his cloak in half and
gave half to the beggar. That night, in a dream, Jesus appeared to Martin  wearing the cloak given to the
“beggar.” As Martin recounted, he heard Jesus say to the angels: “Here is
Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptized [a catechumen] and has clad me” (Sulpicius
, ch 2). One version of the story tells of the cloak being restored in
full to Martin.

Martin of Tours tomb.jpg

A friend of Saint Martin, Sulpicius Severus wrote in his Vita of Martin that,

The body being laid out in public was being honored by the last sad offices on the part of the mourning brethren, when Martin hurries up to them with tears and lamentations. But then laying hold; as it were, of the Holy Spirit, with the whole powers of his mind, he orders the others to quit the cell in which the body was lying; and bolting the door, he stretches himself at full length on the dead limbs of the departed brother. Having given himself for some time to earnest prayer, and perceiving by means of the Spirit of God that power was present, he then rose up for a little, and gazing on the countenance of the deceased, he waited without misgiving for the result of his prayer and of the mercy of the Lord. And scarcely had the space of two hours elapsed, when he saw the dead man begin to move a little in all his members, and to tremble with his eyes opened for the practice of sight. Then indeed, turning to the Lord with a loud voice and giving thanks, he filled the cell with his ejaculations.

Saint Martin is not only the patron saint for the military but he’s also asked to intercede for those battling alcoholism.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saint Martin of Tours

Ss Martin of Tours and Nicholas of Bari.jpg

The Church prays,

O God, who were magnified in the life of Saint Martin as in his death, renew the wonders of your grace in our hearts, so that neither death nor life may separate us from your love.

Adrienne von Speyr’s vision of Saint Martin of Tours (a.d. 316-400) …

His soul is childlike and good and has something so immediately genuine about it, above all so unspoiled, it is as if he had preserved the faith he had as a child, as if he had never had any bad experiences as all in his life. To be sure, he has experience with sin; he knows how bad people are, but he sees them so much in the light of the Lord’s offer of grace that grace is more visible to him than sin is, and he is moved more profoundly by grace than by the possibility of sin. He is like the child in the fairytale who can see only the good fairies and overlooks everything with others and does not even consider the possibility that someone might refuse his offer to share. Like a child who plays around with someone, tells him stories, and is certain his will delight his hearer as much as they delighted him. Thus, he brings all his concerns before God with the awareness that God will hear them. And God constantly hears him, because Christ regards him as one of the little ones whom he invites and calls to himself. He cannot turn down a single request of his. His prayer is good and full of love, and he does not have to lead himself into prayer or be led; his entire life is prayer. His vocal prayer and his contemplation are only sections of this life, which as a whole is a prayer. When he pauses in his work and prays, then it is as if he wanted to rest for a bit and gather a few directions for the next section of life. Even his work in the Church is a labor of love, of love for God and for his neighbor. He occasionally suffers because of the Church, but almost in an impersonal way, that is, not in the sense that certain particular occasions cause it, but from the outset within the Lord’s suffering. And he always imagines that the Lord suffers much more from the thing than Martin himself suffers at the moment.

(And what is his death like?) I see anxieties regarding death. And afterward, in the midst of dying, perfect surrender. Perhaps it is also the case that these anxieties in part are a substitute for the anxieties of which he otherwise had so little experience in his life.

(Book of Saints, 2008)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
coat of arms



Humanities Blog Directory