Friday, November 11, 2005

In Honor of St. Martin of Tours and All Veterans of War

This post is in honor of all war veterans and in honor of all Saints who fought the spiritual battle and won souls for Christ, in particular this day, St. Martin of Tours.

Here is a brief history of this great soldier of Christ who valiantly fought the enemy, defending the Church. St. Martin of Tours was a soldier of the Roman Empire who followed Christ to become Bishop and Confessor.

St. Martin was born (c. 316) at Sabaria, a town in Pannonia near the famous Benedictine monastery dedicated to his name. Against the wishes of his parents he associated with Christians and became a catechumen at the age of ten. At fifteen he entered the army and served under the Emperors Constantius and Julian. While in the service he met a poor, naked beggar at the gates of Amiens who asked alms in Christ's Name. Martin had nothing with him except his weapons and soldier's mantle; but he took his sword, cut the latter in two, and gave half to the poor man. During the following night Christ appeared to him clothed with half a mantle and said, "Martin, the catechumen, has clothed Me with this mantle!"

Martin possessed the gift of discerning spirits. Once the devil appeared to him radiant and clothed in royal apparel, and spoke as if he were Christ. Martin, recognizing the deceit, replied, "The Lord Jesus Christ never prophesied that He would come in purple robes and royal crown." The apparition immediately vanished. Three dead persons he raised to life. While celebrating holy Mass a luminous sphere appeared over his head. He was far advanced in age when he fell into a grievous fever during a visitation at Candes, an outlying parish of his diocese. Unceasingly he begged God to release him from this mortal prison. His disciples, however, implored him with tears, "Father, why are you leaving us? To whom will you entrust the care of your disconsolate children?" Deeply moved, Martin turned to God: "Lord, if I am still necessary for Your people, I will not refuse the labor. Your will be done!"

When the bystanders saw that despite his great fever he remained lying on his back, they besought him to change position to alleviate somewhat the pain. But Martin answered, "Brothers, rather let me look toward heaven than to earth so that my soul in its journey home may take a direct flight to the Lord." Shortly before death he saw the evil spirit. "What do you want, horrible beast? You will find nothing in me that's yours!" With those words the aged saint breathed forth his soul on November 11, 397, at the age of eighty-one.


(From Catholic Culture)

2 Comments:

Blogger Carmel said...

That is a wonderful story, I didn't know about St.Martin of Tours. The devil tried to decieve him but St.Martin didn't fall for it. He was also ready to leave earth and be with God.
Great story

1:22 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Yes, how brave he was to continue God's will on earth, when he was already longing for Heaven.

10:58 PM  

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