Monk and Bishop (317-397)
+ Martin was born in Hungary and was the son of pagan parents. He became a catechumen and served in the Roman army until, after having given half his cloak to a beggar in Amiens, a vision of Christ inspired him to be baptized and to become a monk.
+ Ordained an exorcist by Saint Hilary of Poitiers, he lived a life of solitude before building a new monastery in Ligugé. Despite his reluctance, Martin was named bishop of Tours in 371.
+ After his episcopal consecration, he continued to lead the life of a monk. He later founded a series of monasteries which served as centers of evangelization.
+ Martin’s life was one of prayer and service to his monks and his people. Honored as a miracle worker, his biographer, Saint Suplicius Severus, also presented him as having been a mystic. Although he was criticized by many, including his successor, Saint Brice, he bore all criticism with humility and patience.
+ Saint Martin died on November 8, 397. Devotion to him spread quickly after his death and he became one of the most popular saints in Europe. He is honored as one of the patrons of France and of soldiers.
For prayer and reflection
“This blessed bishop loved Christ with all his strength and had no fear of earthly rulers; though he did not die a martyr’s death, this holy confessor won the martyr’s palm.”—Magnificat Antiphon for Evening Prayer of the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours
On November 11, we also remember Blessed Vikentij (Vincent) Bolilkov. A Passionist priest, he was consecrated as Bishop of Nikopol, Bulgaria, in 1947. Imprisoned and tortured by the Communist authorities, he was condemned to death for his unwillingness to renounce his fidelity to the Holy See. Blessed Vikentij was executed on November 11, 1952, and was beatified in 1998.
The Benedictine monks of St. Martin’s Abbey (Lacey, WA): https://stmartinsabbey.org/
The Benedictine Sisters of St. Martin Monastery (Rapid City, SD): www.blackhillsbenedictine.com
O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin
both by his life and death,
make new, we pray,
the wonders of your grace in our hearts,
that neither death nor life
may separate us from your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.