Saint of the Week:
St. Martin of Tours
“Lord, if your people need me, I will not refuse the work. Your Will be done.”
FEAST DAY: November 11
PATRON SAINT of horses, soldiers and South Africa
Born of pagan parents in what is now Hungary, and raised in Italy, Martin was forced by his father to serve in the army at the age of 15. Martin became a Christian catechumen and was baptized when he was 18. It was said that he lived more like a monk than a soldier. At 23, he refused a war bonus thinking it would be dishonest for him to accept it when he did not intend to fight. He took this opportunity to request his discharge, telling his commander: “I have fought for you up to this point. Now let me fight for God. As for your bonus, let someone who is going to join the battle receive it. I am a soldier of Christ: combat is not permitted me.”
Martin was renowned as a miracle worker, performing many cures and even raising a dead man. Once, for example, he healed St. Paulinus of Nola’s diseased eye by touching it lightly with a fine paintbrush.
Martin died on November 11, 397. Because of his reputation, he became one of the most admired saints of the Middle Ages.