known as Martin the Mercifu,l The Glory of Gaul
Profile Born to pagan parents; his father
was a Roman military officer and tribune. Martin was raised in Pavia, Italy. Discovered
Christianity, and became a catechumen in his early teens. Joined the Roman imperial
army at age 15, serving in a ceremonial unit that acted as the emperor's bodyguard,
rarely exposed to combat. Cavalry officer, and assigned to garrison duty in Gaul.
Trying to live his faith, he refused to let his servant to wait on him. Once,
while on horseback in Amiens in Gaul (modern France), he encountered a beggar.
Having nothing to give but the clothes on his back, he cut his heavy officer's
cloak in half, and gave it to the beggar. Later he had a vision of Christ wearing
the cloak. Baptised into the Church at age 18. Just before a battle, Martin announced
that his faith prohibited him from fighting. Charged with cowardice, he was jailed,
and his superiors planned to put him in the front of the battle.
the invaders sued for peace, the battle never occurred, and Martin was released
from military service at Worms. Spiritual student of Saint Hilary at Poitiers.
On a visit to Lombardy to see his parents, he was robbed in the mountains - but
managed to convert one of the thieves. At home he found that his mother had converted,
but his father had not. The area was strongly Arian, and openly hostile to Catholics.
Martin was badly abused by the heretics, at one point even by the order of the
Arian bishop. Learning that the Arians had gained the upper hand in Gaul and exiled
Saint Hilary, Martin fled to the island of Gallinaria (modern Isola d'Albenga).
Learning that the emperor had authorized Hilary's return, Martin ran to him in
361, then became a hermit for ten years in the area now known as Ligugé.
reputation for holiness attracted other monks, and they formed what would become
the Benedictine abbey of Ligugé. Preached and evangelized through the Gallic countryside.
Many locals held strongly to the old beliefs, and tried to intimidate Martin by
dressing as the old Roman gods, and appearing to him at night; Martin continued
to win converts. He destroyed old temples, and built churches on the land. Friend
of Saint Liborius, bishop of Le Mans. When the bishop of Tours died in 371, Martin
was the immediate choice to replace him. Martin declined, citing unworthiness
Rusticus, a wealthy citizen of Tours, claimed his wife was ill and asking for
Martin; when he arrived in the city, he was declared bishop by popular acclamation,
consecrated on 4 July 372. Moved to a hermit's cell near Tours. Other monks joined
him, and a new house, Marmoutier, soon formed. He rarely left his monastery or
see city, but sometimes went to Trier to plead with the emperor for his city,
his church, or his parishioners. Once when he went to ask for lenience for a condemned
prisoner, an angel woke the emperor to tell him that Martin was waiting to see
him; the prisoner was reprieved.
Martin himself was given
to visions, but even his contemporaries sometimes ascribed them to his habit of
lengthy fasts. An extensive biography of Martin was written by Sulpicius Severus.
He was the first non-martyr to receive the cultus of a saint.
Born c.316 at Upper Pannonia (in modern Hungary)
November 397 at Candes, Tours, France of natural causes by his request, he was
buried in the Cemetery of the Poor on 11 November 397 his relics rested in the
basilica of Tours, a scene of pilgrimages and miracles, until 1562 when the catheral
and relics were destroyed by militant Protestants, some small fragments on his
tomb were found during construction excavation in 1860
Patronage against impoverishment
,against poverty, alcoholism ,beggars, horse men, horses ,hotel-keepers, innkeepers,
,reformed alcoholics, soldiers, tailors, vintner, wine growers ,wine makers
globe of fire, goose ,man on horseback sharing his cloak with beggar man ,cutting
cloak in half man holding aloft a sword and cloak
to Saints Index Gallery at www.TotallyCatholic.com