St Martin of Tours, Bishop

II John 4-9; Psalm 118; Luke 17.26-37

One of the most popular saints, Martin (316-97) was a soldier who served in the elite cavalry bodyguard of the emperor, accompanying him on his journeys throughout the Empire. Martin received baptism at the age of 18 and later founded a monastery in France under the direction of St Hilary. Possibly his conversion was an expression of his revulsion at Caesar Julian (better known to history as Julian the Apostate). In later life Martin was chosen as the third Bishop of Tours, where he assiduously visited his flock and was an inveterate preacher against paganism. Famously, on horseback in Amiens, he encountered a beggar. Having nothing to give him, Martin cut his heavy army officer’s cloak in half and gave half the cloak to the beggar. Martin later had a vision of Christ wearing half of a cloak.

Posted in Daily Reflection.