Wednesday, 11 November 2015

11th November - Martin of Tours

Born to a Roman military officer, Martin of Tours, also known as Martin the Merciful, became a catechumen in his early teens. He joined the Roman army aged 15, serving as the emperor’s bodyguard. While on horseback in Amiens, he came across a beggar. Having nothing to give but the clothes on his back, Martin cut his officer‘s cloak in half and gave it to the beggar. Just before a battle, Martin announced that his faith prohibited him from fighting. He was charged with cowardice, was jailed, and his superiors planned to put him in the front of the battle. However, the invaders made peace and Martin was released from military service.

Martin became a hermit for ten years and earned the reputation for living a holy life. By his own request he was buried in the Cemetery of the Poor on 11 November 397.