Saint Martin of Tours (397)

Saint Martin of Tours was a great saint whose life was written by Saint Gregory of Tours. Saint Martin was born in Hungary. He was educated in Italy. He became a Christian in France. He was the uncle of Saint Patrick, the great apostle of Ireland. He was the staunch friend and ally of Saint Hilary of Poitiers, the first Doctor of the Church to die. In France there are four thousand churches and five hundred villages named for Saint Martin of Tours.

Saint Martin of Tours worked many miracles while on earth, including the raising of the dead. Among other saints who have raised the dead to life, we may mention: Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint John, Saint Matthew, Saint Patrick, Saint Benedict, Saint Dominic, Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Vincent Ferrer, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Peter Claver, Saint Philip Neri, Saint Francis of Paula, Saint Philip of Benizi, Saint Nicholas of Bari, Saint Eleutherius, Saint Linus, Saint Stanislaus of Cracow, Saint John Bosco, Saint Martin de Porres, Saint Hilary, Saint Julian of Antioch, Saint Macarius the Elder, Saint Beuno, Saint Germanus of Auxerre, Saint Hyacinth, Saint Abundius of Como, Saint Abundius (and Saint Abundantius), Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Joan of Arc, Saint Rose of Viterbo, and Saint Agnes of Montepulciano.

Here is the Church’s official biography of the saint from the office of Matins for November 11:

Martin, born in Sabaria at Pannonia, was ten years old, when against his parents’ wishes he went to a Church and asked to be enrolled amongst the catechumens. At fifteen he enlisted as a soldier, and served first in the army of Constantius, and then in that of Julian. At eighteen, when he had given part of his cloak to a poor man at Amiens, he was strengthened by a wonderful apparition of Jesus Christ and eagerly received baptism. Then leaving the military life, he was received among the acolytes of Hilary, the bishop of Poitiers. Later made bishop of Tours, he built a monastery, where with eighty monks he lived in a most holy way for some time. When he was seized with severe fever at Candes, a village of his diocese, he had pity on his disciples, and thus prayed to God: “Lord, if I am still necessary for your people, I will not refuse the labor.” Shortly after, when death was imminent, the enemy of mankind appeared him. “Why are you here, cruel beast?”, said Martin. “You will find no deadly sin in me.” With those words he gave back his soul to God at the age of eighty one, famous for many miracles.

Unknown Hungarian Master, "Saint Martin and the Poor Man," 1490, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest (source)

Unknown Hungarian Master, “Saint Martin and the Poor Man,”
1490, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest (source)