Hermit (d. ca. 580)
+ Little is known of this obscure saint, whose name is included today in Roman Martyrology.
+ He lived as a hermit in Campania and his virtues were praised by Pope Saint Gregory the Great in his famed Dialogues. Gregory records that many of his own friends had known Martin and observed his miracles. Gregory also relates that he had heard of Martin’s holiness from his predecessor, Pope Pelagius II.
+ Martin is said to have lived alone in a cave on Mondragone. He miraculously overcame shortages of water and was plagued by a demon disguised as a serpent every day for three years.
+ Martin’s most extreme penance was to have chained his ankle to the wall of the cave so that he could not easily decide to leave. Saint Benedict, from his monastery at Monte Cassino, wrote to Martin, saying, “If you are Gods’ servant, be held by Christ’s chain, not by any chain of iron.” He was so moved by Benedict’s words, that he used his chain to replace a faulty bucket-rope at a local well, using it to help provide for the community.
+ Saint Martin died around the year 580.
For prayer and reflection
On this day, the Church also remembers Saint Lydia. A dealer in purple-dyed fabrics, Lydia offered hospitality to Paul and Silas during their visit to Philippi (see Acts 16). She is celebrated as the first person in Europe to be baptized as a Christian.
O God, who alone are holy and without whom no one is good, command, we pray, through the intercession of blessed Martin, that we be numbered among those who do not deserve to be deprived of your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For One Saint)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.