St Martin, Bishop of Tours.

Commemorated October 12 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

Born in 316 in Pannonia, in a town called Sabaria, he was the son of pagan parents. His father was a Roman officer, and the young Martin was therefore put, against his will, into the army. He was, however, already a catechumen in the Christian Church, which he had loved with all his heart from his early youth. Travelling one winter with his companions to the town of Amiens, he saw a beggar, almost naked and freezing with cold, in front of the gates. Martin was distressed and, parting from his companions, took off his soldier's cloak and, with his sabre, cut it in half. He gave half to the beggar and wrapped himself in the other, and went on his way. That night, the Lord Jesus appeared to him in a dream, clad in the other half of his cloak, and said to His angels: 'Martin is only a catechumen, and see, he clothes Me in his garment!' Leaving the army, Martin was immediately baptised, and baptised his mother. After that, he became a monk in the diocese of St Hilary of Poitiers, and spent his life in true asceticism. He had a rare meekness, and for this God gave him abundant wonderworking gifts, so that he could raise the dead and drive out evil spirits. He was made Bishop of Tours against his will. After abundant toil in the Lord's vineyard and after a mighty struggle with both pagans and Arian heretics, St Martin gave his holy soul into the hands of his Lord in 397.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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