Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope it will serve to inspire you and perhaps inform you in some small way regarding the Holy Orthodox Faith or our Lord Jesus Christ. Feel free to comment or ask questions. Christ be with you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11th, Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop and Confessor

Saint Martin of Tours

Martin (according to the account written of his life by his friend Saint Sulpicius Severus, from which is taken most of what is herein given for his feast) was born at Sabaria, in Pannonia. When he was ten years old he became a catechumen, in spite of his father and mother, who were heathens. Now his father was an officer in the army, who had risen from the ranks ; and therefore Martin, at the age of fifteen, was forced into the army against his will, and served as a soldier first under Constantius and then under Julian. Once at the gate of Amiens a poor man asked of him an alms for Christ’s Name’s sake, and since he had nothing to his hand but his arms and his clothes, he gave him half of his cloak. In the night following he dreamt that Christ appeared to him clad in the half of his cloak, and saying to the Angels who bore him company: While Martin was yet a catechumen, he clad me in this garment. Whereupon Martin made haste to be baptized.

He was eighteen years of age when he thus put on Christ, and thereafter he gave up the life of a soldier, and betook himself to Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, by whom he was placed in the order of acolytes. Being afterwards made Bishop of Tours, and that much against his will, (for he was taken by force and consecrated,) he gave himself to his office with diligence. But for his Episcopal residence, he built at Tours a monastery wherein he lived in holiness, in company of four-score monks. Famous for holy works and many miracles, he at last fell sick of a grievous fever at Candes, a remote village in his diocese, and besought God in constant prayer to set him free form the prison of his dying body. But when his disciples expostulated with him, he changed his prayer and said : Lord, if I be still needful to thy people, I refuse not to labour!

St. Martin of Tours
 When his disciple saw him, in the height of the fever, lying upon his back and praying, they entreated him to turn over and take a little rest upon his side, as much as the violence of his sickness would allow him. But Martin answered them: Suffer me to look heavenward rather than earthward, that my spirit may see the way whereby it is so soon going to the Lord At the moment of death he saw the enemy of mankind, and cried out : Why hast thou come hither, O beast of blood? In me thou shalt find nothing of thine! With these words on his lips, he gave up his soul to God, being aged eighty years. He is said to have been received by a company of Angels, whereof many men afterwards testified that they heard them singing, among the which was Saint Severinus, Bishop of Cologne. His blessed death took place on November 8th, but his feast is kept on November 11th, being the day of his burial at Tours. Whereto, it is said, two thousand monks and nuns came to honour him, being his disciples in the many religious houses he had founded.

A Homily by Saint Ambrose the Bishop

The candle is faith, even as it is written : Thy word is a lantern unto my feet, and a light unto my paths. Now our faith is to us the very word of God, for this word of God furnisheth us with light, whereof faith is the candle. It is written concerning the incarnate Word of God : That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. For a candle cannot shine, unless it be set a-light from some fire. And it is the incarnate Word of God that lighteth us.

St. Ambrose of Milan
Also it is written : What woman, having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And in this connection, the candle, which is lighted to find the lost piece, is the strength of our understanding and affections. Let no man therefore attempt to seek faith under the Law. For the Law is by measure, but grace is without measure ; the Law overshadowed , but grace enlighteneth. And therefore let no man shut up his faith within the measure of the Law, but give it unto the Church ; wherein shineth the sevenfold grace of the Spirit, and whereon the divine glory of the great high priest doth strike from heaven, lest the shadow of the Law should rest any more at all upon her.

O Lord God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do, mercifully grant that, by the intercession of blessed Martin thy Confessor and Bishop, we may be defended against all adversity, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Tony... It really helps me to give a name for my unborn child.