Sainted Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours
Commemorated on October 12
Sainted Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours, lived in France. He is called the merciful for his generosity and care for the poor. Before accepting monasticism, Martin was a military commander under the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) and was distinguished for his bravery. When barbarians invaded the empire, by order of the emperor Saint Martin went out from the city with his troops to do battle with them. Having encountered a beggar by the wayside, he gave to him his own cloak. By night the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the saint and promised victory over the enemy, which soon occurred. The emperor solemnly met the victor and suggested to him to offer sacrifice in thanksgiving for the gaining of victory. But Saint Martin said, that he wanted to offer sacrifice to Christ, with Whose help he vanquished the enemy, by the act of becoming a monk. The emperor banished the saint. After seven years of ascetic life, Saint Martin was elevated to be bishop of Tours. Saint Martin possessed gifts of perspicacity and wonderworking. He died at the end of the IV Century.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.