Saint Martin of Tours

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Ss Martin of Tours and Nicholas of Bari.jpgO 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)


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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]



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This page contains a single entry by Paul Zalonski published on November 11, 2008 5:45 AM.

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