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Saint Martin, Bishop of Tours

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November 12

Reading:

Saint Martin, the great luminary of Gaul, was the son of pagan parents. When he was still quite young he became a catechumen; at the age of twenty-two he received Holy Baptism. Then he undertook the labours of a monk, and was afterwards consecrated Bishop of Tours, renowned as an ascetic and wonderworker, a faithful shepherd of Christ's flock. He converted many both from paganism and heresy, cast out demons and raised the dead, and while undertaking all the apostolic burdens of a bishop, he never ceased to be a simple monk and man of prayer. His monastery became a center of monasticism not only for Gaul, but for all of Western Europe. A widely celebrated incident of his life took place when he was still a catechumen, fulfilling his military service. Seeing an ill-clad beggar asking alms at the gate of the city of Amiens and being overlooked by passersby, Saint Martin, having nothing else to give, rent his military cloak in two with his sword and gave half to the beggar, so that he might cover himself in the cold. That night, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him, clothed with the half of the cloak he had given to the beggar. Saint Martin's cloak - capella in Latin - was kept in a sanctuary which came to be called capella, from which the word "chapel" is derived; and they under whose care it was kept were called cappellani, from which "chaplain" is derived. Saint Martin reposed in peace in the year 397.

Apolytikion of Martin, Bis. of Tours in the Fourth Tone

In signs and in miracles thou wast renowned throughout Gaul; by grace and adoption now thou art a light for the world, O Martin, most blest of God. Almsdeeds and compassion filled thy life with their splendour; teaching and wise counsel were thy riches and treasures, which thou dost dispense freely unto all them that honour thee.

Kontakion of Martin, Bis. of Tours in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

As a devoted man of God, thou didst proclaim His mysteries. And as a seer of the Trinity, thou didst shed thy blessings on the Occident. By thy prayers and entreaties, O adornment of Tours and glory of all the Church, preserve us, O Saint Martin, and save all who praise thy memory.