st. martin’s lent meditations

St. Martin's Cross by Bonnie Thurston

It begins and ends here
with Martin who forswore the sword,
disliked the Chair to which he was obedient,
was gentle with heretics, loved hermitage,
took the cross to the Celts.

The shadow of the cross comforts
scars medieval cart wheels
cut in rough, rosy stones
that mark this sacred way.
Street of the Dead, Road of Kings:

two names for the same journey.
In this pilgrim life
we are royal in our dying,
rest grateful heads on the cross,
feel its blessed benediction.

#StMartinsLent

—Bonnie Thurston, "Belonging to Borders: A Sojourn in the Celtic Tradition" (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2011), p 33

[Image: "Szent Mártont ábrázoló ablaka (St. Martin's window)" located in Pannonhalmi Bencés Főapátság (Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary]
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St. Martins Cross by Bonnie Thurston

It begins and ends here
with Martin who forswore the sword,
disliked the Chair to which he was obedient,
was gentle with heretics, loved hermitage,
took the cross to the Celts.

The shadow of the cross comforts
scars medieval cart wheels
cut in rough, rosy stones
that mark this sacred way.
Street of the Dead, Road of Kings:

two names for the same journey.
In this pilgrim life
we are royal in our dying,
rest grateful heads on the cross,
feel its blessed benediction.

#StMartinsLent

—Bonnie Thurston, Belonging to Borders: A Sojourn in the Celtic Tradition (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2011), p 33

[Image: Szent Mártont ábrázoló ablaka (St. Martins window) located in Pannonhalmi Bencés Főapátság (Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary]

 

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Thanks to everyone who followed along with my posts during St. Martin's Lent. I hope you enjoyed learning about this fascinating man and his contributions to the development of the western Church—I know I certainly did. Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas.

“Martin [of Tours] would leave behind three permanent legacies. The first was his example of being a person who was the equal of emperors and intellectuals even though he had no education and had refused military service . . .

“The second was Martin’s example as a monk who served as a bishop. This would become a tradition in France and would do much to establish the tradition of celibate monastic practice for all clergy in western Christianity.

“Martin’s third legacy was his insistence that the Church and its leaders had an authority independent of civil government, another feature of western civilization that is unique and which would have enormous consequence in later centuries.” #StMartinsLent

—Ivan J. Kauffman, “Follow Me: A History of Christian Intentionality” (Cambridge, England: The Lutterworth Press, 2009), p 34

[Image: Detail from “The Funeral of St. Martin” by Simone Martini (1322-1326), located in Basilica inferiore di San Francesco d'Assisi, Italy]
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“Martin [of Tours] would leave behind three permanent legacies. The first was his example of being a person who was the equal of emperors and intellectuals even though he had no education and had refused military service . . .

“The second was Martin’s example as a monk who served as a bishop. This would become a tradition in France and would do much to establish the tradition of celibate monastic practice for all clergy in western Christianity.

“Martin’s third legacy was his insistence that the Church and its leaders had an authority independent of civil government, another feature of western civilization that is unique and which would have enormous consequence in later centuries.” #StMartinsLent

—Ivan J. Kauffman, “Follow Me: A History of Christian Intentionality” (Cambridge, England: The Lutterworth Press, 2009), p 34

[Image: Detail from “The Funeral of St. Martin” by Simone Martini (1322-1326), located in Basilica inferiore di San Francesco dAssisi, Italy]

“St. Martin of Tours . . . is the only saint of this name with known connections with Scotland, and so it must be this remarkable miracle-worker who lends his name to Kilmartin in mid-Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. The prefix comes from ‘cille,’ which is Gaelic for ‘church.’ This lovely old area has an abundance of ‘old stone’ for us to puzzle upon. And some new discoveries too. It has recently been realized that there may have been an astoninishing three-mile long avenue of stones leading to and from the greatest display there of rock art . . . Three miles!

“Man has lived for perhaps 6,000 years around Kilmartin, and his legacies are all around. There is the line of five burial cairns . . . Older than these is the Temple Wood ring of 13 stones . . . ‘Temple’ or ‘Teampull’ sites are considered by astroarchaeologists to be of special significance . . . North lie the four Kintraw cairns, and a standing stone, 13 feet high, south-west of the large cairn beside the road, which was possibly a Neolithic calculator for midwinter solstices, using mountain peaks on faraway Jura.” #StMartinsLent

—Michael Balfour, “Mysterious Scotland: Enigmas, Secrets and Legends” (Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream Publishing Company, 1997)

[Image: “-5 at Kilmartin (Kilmartin Standingstone)” by Alan Weir is licensed under CC BY 2.0]
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“St. Martin of Tours . . . is the only saint of this name with known connections with Scotland, and so it must be this remarkable miracle-worker who lends his name to Kilmartin in mid-Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. The prefix comes from ‘cille,’ which is Gaelic for ‘church.’ This lovely old area has an abundance of ‘old stone’ for us to puzzle upon. And some new discoveries too. It has recently been realized that there may have been an astoninishing three-mile long avenue of stones leading to and from the greatest display there of rock art . . . Three miles!

“Man has lived for perhaps 6,000 years around Kilmartin, and his legacies are all around. There is the line of five burial cairns . . . Older than these is the Temple Wood ring of 13 stones . . . ‘Temple’ or ‘Teampull’ sites are considered by astroarchaeologists to be of special significance . . . North lie the four Kintraw cairns, and a standing stone, 13 feet high, south-west of the large cairn beside the road, which was possibly a Neolithic calculator for midwinter solstices, using mountain peaks on faraway Jura.” #StMartinsLent

—Michael Balfour, “Mysterious Scotland: Enigmas, Secrets and Legends” (Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream Publishing Company, 1997)

[Image: “-5 at Kilmartin (Kilmartin Standingstone)” by Alan Weir is licensed under CC BY 2.0]

“[St. Martin] felt his vocation was to a solitary life—the desert monks of Egypt . . . being a powerful influence at the time. [Then bishop] Hilary [of Poitiers] gave him some land, but others, drawn by his example, came to join him, and what is generally considered the first monastic community in Gaul came into being. He spent ten years there, teaching and preaching, until the people of Tours wanted him as their bishop . . . Christianity was an urban religion in Gaul, and [St.] Martin was a pioneer in spreading it to rural areas, where he established a rudimentary parish system . . . He was unsparing of himself, travelling all over his diocese on foot, by donkey, or by boat. He ventured farther afield and preached in other dioceses, which did not always endear him to their bishops.” #StMartinsLent

—Paul Burns, “Butler’s Lives of the Saints: New Concise Edition in North America” (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2007), p 531

[Image: Detail from "Saint Martin Healing the Possessed Man" by Jacob Jordaens (1630)]
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“[St. Martin] felt his vocation was to a solitary life—the desert monks of Egypt . . . being a powerful influence at the time. [Then bishop] Hilary [of Poitiers] gave him some land, but others, drawn by his example, came to join him, and what is generally considered the first monastic community in Gaul came into being. He spent ten years there, teaching and preaching, until the people of Tours wanted him as their bishop . . . Christianity was an urban religion in Gaul, and [St.] Martin was a pioneer in spreading it to rural areas, where he established a rudimentary parish system . . . He was unsparing of himself, travelling all over his diocese on foot, by donkey, or by boat. He ventured farther afield and preached in other dioceses, which did not always endear him to their bishops.” #StMartinsLent

—Paul Burns, “Butler’s Lives of the Saints: New Concise Edition in North America” (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2007), p 531

[Image: Detail from Saint Martin Healing the Possessed Man by Jacob Jordaens (1630)]

"The idea that all Christians, ‘the saints,’ had the capacity to intercede for their dead had ancient roots, and the rise of a more ‘professional’ class of saint-mediators in the fourth century simply added another dimension to this notion. By late antiquity, there were few who seriously doubted the power of the saints to intercede with God not only for the living but also for the dead . . . What were the limits of a saint’s power? Could a saint rescue a soul not merely from death but from condemnation to hell? . . . [We] encounter such a figure in Saint Martin of Tours. By examining how Martin’s reputation for saving the dead evolved over two centuries, from the fourth century in which his life was first recorded, to the sixth century when his cult ‘went global,’ we can explore what was at stake in the claim that a soul could be rescued from hell and the importance of the scheme of Christ’s descent to the way such a claim was expressed.” #StMartinsLent

—Isabella Moreira and Margaret Toscano, eds., “Hell and its Afterlife: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives” (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2010), p 42

[Image: Statue of St. Martin on the dome of Basilique Saint-Martin de Tours, Tours, France]
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The idea that all Christians, ‘the saints,’ had the capacity to intercede for their dead had ancient roots, and the rise of a more ‘professional’ class of saint-mediators in the fourth century simply added another dimension to this notion. By late antiquity, there were few who seriously doubted the power of the saints to intercede with God not only for the living but also for the dead . . . What were the limits of a saint’s power? Could a saint rescue a soul not merely from death but from condemnation to hell? . . . [We] encounter such a figure in Saint Martin of Tours. By examining how Martin’s reputation for saving the dead evolved over two centuries, from the fourth century in which his life was first recorded, to the sixth century when his cult ‘went global,’ we can explore what was at stake in the claim that a soul could be rescued from hell and the importance of the scheme of Christ’s descent to the way such a claim was expressed.” #StMartinsLent

—Isabella Moreira and Margaret Toscano, eds., “Hell and its Afterlife: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives” (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2010), p 42

[Image: Statue of St. Martin on the dome of Basilique Saint-Martin de Tours, Tours, France]

“The statement may be accepted as true, that on his way back to Britain, [Saint] Ninian visited Martin of Tours. This doctor was beyond doubt a man of capacious intellect, of large and bold conceptions, of resolute will, and, we may add, of fervent piety. His genius stamped itself not only upon his own age, but also upon the ages that came after . . . Martin, as a matter of course, could communicate his view to Ninian; and Ninian would as naturally defer to the great doctor then in the zenith of his fame. The missionary of Galloway became a convert to monachism as an agency for combating the corruption and dispelling the ignorance of the age. On these lines he would henceforward work on returning to his native land. Accordingly, before leaving Tours he arranged with Martin that masons should follow him into Scotland and build him a sanctuary in which he might celebrate worship with more solemnity than aforetime.” #StMartinsLent

—Rev. James A. Wylie, “History of the Scottish Nation, Volume 1” (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1887 ), pp 68-72

[Image: Detail from "Vie de Saint-Martin", north transept window, located in Ancienne collégiale Saint-Martin de Colmar, Alsace, France]
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“The statement may be accepted as true, that on his way back to Britain, [Saint] Ninian visited Martin of Tours. This doctor was beyond doubt a man of capacious intellect, of large and bold conceptions, of resolute will, and, we may add, of fervent piety. His genius stamped itself not only upon his own age, but also upon the ages that came after . . . Martin, as a matter of course, could communicate his view to Ninian; and Ninian would as naturally defer to the great doctor then in the zenith of his fame. The missionary of Galloway became a convert to monachism as an agency for combating the corruption and dispelling the ignorance of the age. On these lines he would henceforward work on returning to his native land. Accordingly, before leaving Tours he arranged with Martin that masons should follow him into Scotland and build him a sanctuary in which he might celebrate worship with more solemnity than aforetime.” #StMartinsLent

—Rev. James A. Wylie, “History of the Scottish Nation, Volume 1” (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1887 ), pp 68-72

[Image: Detail from Vie de Saint-Martin, north transept window, located in Ancienne collégiale Saint-Martin de Colmar, Alsace, France]

“Hagiography—that is, writing about saints—was one of the most common forms of narrative literature in the European Middle Ages . . . After the persecutions came to an end in the early fourth century, the heroes of the faith came to include not only martyrs but also those known as 'confessors,' who witnessed to their Christianity by living lives of extraordinary holiness . . . The lives of Antony of Egypt (c. 251-356) and Martin of Tours (c. 335-97) were early examples of this form, and they established patterns for depicting sanctity that influenced writers throughout the medieval period.

“The passions and lives of the saints served to preserve the local memory of these holy people and also to convey information about them to Christians elsewhere. That some saints, such as Antony and Martin, who lived before the development of papal canonization, gradually came to be known and venerated throughout Christendom often depended on the existence of a hagiographic record of this sort.” #StMartinsLent

—Jason Glenn, The Middle Ages in Texts and Texture: Reflections on Medieval Sources (Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2011), p 21

[Image: Detail from an altar painting by an unknown artist, located in Kirche Sankt Martin, Gnadenwald,Tirol, Austria]
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“Hagiography—that is, writing about saints—was one of the most common forms of narrative literature in the European Middle Ages . . . After the persecutions came to an end in the early fourth century, the heroes of the faith came to include not only martyrs but also those known as confessors, who witnessed to their Christianity by living lives of extraordinary holiness . . . The lives of Antony of Egypt (c. 251-356) and Martin of Tours (c. 335-97) were early examples of this form, and they established patterns for depicting sanctity that influenced writers throughout the medieval period.

“The passions and lives of the saints served to preserve the local memory of these holy people and also to convey information about them to Christians elsewhere. That some saints, such as Antony and Martin, who lived before the development of papal canonization, gradually came to be known and venerated throughout Christendom often depended on the existence of a hagiographic record of this sort.” #StMartinsLent

—Jason Glenn, The Middle Ages in Texts and Texture: Reflections on Medieval Sources (Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2011), p 21

[Image: Detail from an altar painting by an unknown artist, located in Kirche Sankt Martin, Gnadenwald,Tirol, Austria]

“Now, the devil would try to attack Saint Martin of Tours with a thousand malicious schemes . . . In one incident, some of the brothers told how they had heard a demon reproaching Martin in abusive terms and interrogating him as to why he had taken certain brothers back into the church—brothers who had lost their baptism by falling into error but had repented. The demon laid out the crimes of each of them; but Martin, resisting the devil firmly, answered him that past sins are cleansed away by the leading of a better life, and that through the mercy of God, those who have given up their evil ways are absolved from their sins.” #StMartinsLent

—James Stuart Bell, “Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church” (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2013), p 213

[Image: Detail from ceiling painting by Fidel Schabet (1846), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Unteressendorf, Germany]
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“Now, the devil would try to attack Saint Martin of Tours with a thousand malicious schemes . . . In one incident, some of the brothers told how they had heard a demon reproaching Martin in abusive terms and interrogating him as to why he had taken certain brothers back into the church—brothers who had lost their baptism by falling into error but had repented. The demon laid out the crimes of each of them; but Martin, resisting the devil firmly, answered him that past sins are cleansed away by the leading of a better life, and that through the mercy of God, those who have given up their evil ways are absolved from their sins.” #StMartinsLent

—James Stuart Bell, “Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church” (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2013), p 213

[Image: Detail from ceiling painting by Fidel Schabet (1846), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Unteressendorf, Germany]

“By early November, winter is already spreading its dark cloak over the landscape. What better time to send the children parading through the streets with pretty lights? In Germany's Protestant north, this can happen anytime during the autumn. In the Catholic south, lantern processions are centered around the larger observance of St. Martin's Day on November 11. There, the Christmas season is ushered in by the figure of St. Martin himself, riding into town on a white horse . . . Martinmas lanterns are supposed to represent the light of the Christian faith . . . ” #StMartinsLent

—Linda Raedisch, “The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year” (Woodbury, Minnesota: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2013), Ch. 4

“In the Bible the lamp or lantern symbolizes the inner light of faith. They also indicate materially the eucharistic presence.”

—Maurice Dilasser, “The Symbols of the Church” (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1999), p 44

[Image: Detail from "Sankt-Martins-Zug vor dem Düsseldorfer Rathaus (St. Martin's Train in Front of the Düsseldorf Town Hall)" by Heinrich Hermanns (1905)]
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“By early November, winter is already spreading its dark cloak over the landscape. What better time to send the children parading through the streets with pretty lights? In Germanys Protestant north, this can happen anytime during the autumn. In the Catholic south, lantern processions are centered around the larger observance of St. Martins Day on November 11. There, the Christmas season is ushered in by the figure of St. Martin himself, riding into town on a white horse . . . Martinmas lanterns are supposed to represent the light of the Christian faith . . . ” #StMartinsLent

—Linda Raedisch, “The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year” (Woodbury, Minnesota: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2013), Ch. 4

“In the Bible the lamp or lantern symbolizes the inner light of faith. They also indicate materially the eucharistic presence.”

—Maurice Dilasser, “The Symbols of the Church” (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1999), p 44

[Image: Detail from Sankt-Martins-Zug vor dem Düsseldorfer Rathaus (St. Martins Train in Front of the Düsseldorf Town Hall) by Heinrich Hermanns (1905)]

“[The] evangelical spirit has always been at the forefront of renewal and reform in the church throughout her history. It was the spirit that motivated the earliest missionaries—Stephen, Philip, Peter, Paul, and Barnabas. It moved Martin of Tours to go to southern Gaul, Patrick to evangelize Ireland, and Columbia to evangelize Spain. It characterized the founders of monasticism . . . It is implicit in the great medieval movements of reform . . . It is the spirit of the great forerunners of the Reformation . . . the Reformers . . . the revivalists. . . and the leaders of the nineteenth-century missionary movement.” #StMartinsLent

—Robert E. Webber, “Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith” (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2009), p 42

[Image: Detail from "St. Martin" by Jan Brueghel the Elder (16th century)]
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“[The] evangelical spirit has always been at the forefront of renewal and reform in the church throughout her history. It was the spirit that motivated the earliest missionaries—Stephen, Philip, Peter, Paul, and Barnabas. It moved Martin of Tours to go to southern Gaul, Patrick to evangelize Ireland, and Columbia to evangelize Spain. It characterized the founders of monasticism . . . It is implicit in the great medieval movements of reform . . . It is the spirit of the great forerunners of the Reformation . . . the Reformers . . . the revivalists. . . and the leaders of the nineteenth-century missionary movement.” #StMartinsLent

—Robert E. Webber, “Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith” (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2009), p 42

[Image: Detail from St. Martin by Jan Brueghel the Elder (16th century)]

“Seven years after the death of Hilary [of Poitiers] (in 373), the Church of Tours having lost its bishop, the voice of the people made itself heard to acclaim the Saint of Poitiers [Martin] as his successor. There was some opposition, especially among the bishops, who did not like the idea of having as a colleague a monk who did not wash himself or dress properly. In this we see already the conflict between popular enthusiasm—which thinks more of character than of appearance—and the worldly considerations which prevail, and will do so more and more, with the superior clergy. Martin was consecrated in spite of this opposition, albeit reinforced by his own; but he found means to combine the monastic life with the duties of his new position.” #StMartinsLent

—Monsignor Louis Duchesne, “Early History of the Christian Church” (New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1912), p 417

[Image: Detail from "Miraculous Mass" by Simone Martini (1317-1319), located in The Saint Martin Chapel, Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, Assisi, Perugia, Italy]
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“Seven years after the death of Hilary [of Poitiers] (in 373), the Church of Tours having lost its bishop, the voice of the people made itself heard to acclaim the Saint of Poitiers [Martin] as his successor. There was some opposition, especially among the bishops, who did not like the idea of having as a colleague a monk who did not wash himself or dress properly. In this we see already the conflict between popular enthusiasm—which thinks more of character than of appearance—and the worldly considerations which prevail, and will do so more and more, with the superior clergy. Martin was consecrated in spite of this opposition, albeit reinforced by his own; but he found means to combine the monastic life with the duties of his new position.” #StMartinsLent

—Monsignor Louis Duchesne, “Early History of the Christian Church” (New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1912), p 417

[Image: Detail from Miraculous Mass by Simone Martini (1317-1319), located in The Saint Martin Chapel, Basilica of San Francesco dAssisi, Assisi, Perugia, Italy]

“As one of the Works of Mercy enumerated in Matthew was to clothe the naked, [the story of Martin sharing his cloak] was often used to encourage the faithful to do the same . . . In a Florentine manuscript . . . datable to c. 1340 . . . an image of Saint Martin dividing his cloak is paired with an allegory of the Virtue of Mercy, a woman watering a tree, that was used to illustrate the merciful act of clothing the naked. An inscription elucidates the connection: 'Just as water maintains the vigor of a tree's roots, causing it to grow in strength and fruits, and to sprout and flower according to its nature, so does mercy serve to make the soul joyful and virtuous in the other virtues.' ” #StMartinsLent

—Katherine T. Brown, “Mary of Mercy in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Art: Devotional Image and Civic Emblem (New York: Routledge, 2017), p 88

[Image: Detail from "St. Martin Dividing His Cloak" by Lievan van Lathem (15th Cent.), illuminated manuscript]
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“As one of the Works of Mercy enumerated in Matthew was to clothe the naked, [the story of Martin sharing his cloak] was often used to encourage the faithful to do the same . . . In a Florentine manuscript . . . datable to c. 1340 . . . an image of Saint Martin dividing his cloak is paired with an allegory of the Virtue of Mercy, a woman watering a tree, that was used to illustrate the merciful act of clothing the naked. An inscription elucidates the connection: Just as water maintains the vigor of a trees roots, causing it to grow in strength and fruits, and to sprout and flower according to its nature, so does mercy serve to make the soul joyful and virtuous in the other virtues. ” #StMartinsLent

—Katherine T. Brown, “Mary of Mercy in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Art: Devotional Image and Civic Emblem (New York: Routledge, 2017), p 88

[Image: Detail from St. Martin Dividing His Cloak by Lievan van Lathem (15th Cent.), illuminated manuscript]

“Martin, that man full of God, recognized that a being to whom others showed no pity, was, in that respect, left to him. Yet, what should he do? He had nothing except the cloak in which he was clad, for he had already parted with the rest of his garments for similar purposes. Taking, therefore, his sword with which he was girt, he divided his cloak into two equal parts, and gave one part to the poor man, while he again clothed himself with the remainder.

"Upon this, some of the by-standers laughed, because he was now an unsightly object, and stood out as but partly dressed. Many, however, who were of sounder understanding, groaned deeply because they themselves had done nothing similar. They especially felt this, because, being possessed of more than Martin, they could have clothed the poor man without reducing themselves to nakedness.” #StMartinsLent

—Sulpicius Serverus, “Saint Martin of Tours” (London: Aeterna Press, 2015), Ch. 3

[Image: Detail from "St. Martin and the Beggar" by Alfred Rethel (1836)]
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“Martin, that man full of God, recognized that a being to whom others showed no pity, was, in that respect, left to him. Yet, what should he do? He had nothing except the cloak in which he was clad, for he had already parted with the rest of his garments for similar purposes. Taking, therefore, his sword with which he was girt, he divided his cloak into two equal parts, and gave one part to the poor man, while he again clothed himself with the remainder.

Upon this, some of the by-standers laughed, because he was now an unsightly object, and stood out as but partly dressed. Many, however, who were of sounder understanding, groaned deeply because they themselves had done nothing similar. They especially felt this, because, being possessed of more than Martin, they could have clothed the poor man without reducing themselves to nakedness.” #StMartinsLent

—Sulpicius Serverus, “Saint Martin of Tours” (London: Aeterna Press, 2015), Ch. 3

[Image: Detail from St. Martin and the Beggar by Alfred Rethel (1836)]

“Historian Peter Brown has richly documented [the ebb and flow of sacralization, desacralization, and resacralization in Late Antiquity], describing how through holy relics—and, much more importantly, in the East, through the life and death of holy men and women, monastics and saints and holy fools—'paradise itself came to ooze into the world.'

'Nature itself was redeemed . . . The countryside found its voice again . . . in an ancient and spiritual vernacular, of the presence of the saints. Water became holy again. The hoof-print of his donkey could be seen beside a healing spring, which St. Martin had caused to gush forth from the earth . . . They brought down from heaven to earth a touch of the unshackled, vegetable energy of God's own paradise.' ” #StMartinsLent

—Bruce V. Foltz, “The Noetics of Nature” (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014), p 85

[Image: Detail from "St.Martin mit Taufe der Mutter (St. Martin Baptizes His Mother)" by Josef Adam Mölk (1777), located in Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Oberwölz, Germany]
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“Historian Peter Brown has richly documented [the ebb and flow of sacralization, desacralization, and resacralization in Late Antiquity], describing how through holy relics—and, much more importantly, in the East, through the life and death of holy men and women, monastics and saints and holy fools—paradise itself came to ooze into the world.

Nature itself was redeemed . . . The countryside found its voice again . . . in an ancient and spiritual vernacular, of the presence of the saints. Water became holy again. The hoof-print of his donkey could be seen beside a healing spring, which St. Martin had caused to gush forth from the earth . . . They brought down from heaven to earth a touch of the unshackled, vegetable energy of Gods own paradise. ” #StMartinsLent

—Bruce V. Foltz, “The Noetics of Nature” (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014), p 85

[Image: Detail from St.Martin mit Taufe der Mutter (St. Martin Baptizes His Mother) by Josef Adam Mölk (1777), located in Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Oberwölz, Germany]

From St. Nicholas Center, www.StNicholasCenter.org:

“In the Middle Ages Saint Nicholas, along with Martin of Tours, was celebrated as a true people's saint because of the way he lived. This was unusual as most early saints were martyrs who had died for their faith. Nicholas was surely an early example of a saint who was honored for the witness of his life. Nicholas was a saint whose life bore witness to God's work through a life of social value, lived carrying out God's will. Both Nicholas and Martin lived to an old age and died peacefully. This may be one reason they were so very popular: They were examples of how to live, rather than how to die in times of persecution.” #StMartinsLent

—From St. Nicholas Center, www.StNicholasCenter.org, where there is more information about the saint, customs from around the world, stories and activities for children, recipes, crafts, and much more to help families, churches and schools learn about and celebrate St. Nicholas. Used by permission.

[Image: Detail from "St. Martin of Tours and St. Nicholas of Bari [a.k.a. St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra]" by Master of Uttenheim (15th Cent.)]
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From St. Nicholas Center, www.StNicholasCenter.org:

“In the Middle Ages Saint Nicholas, along with Martin of Tours, was celebrated as a true peoples saint because of the way he lived. This was unusual as most early saints were martyrs who had died for their faith. Nicholas was surely an early example of a saint who was honored for the witness of his life. Nicholas was a saint whose life bore witness to Gods work through a life of social value, lived carrying out Gods will. Both Nicholas and Martin lived to an old age and died peacefully. This may be one reason they were so very popular: They were examples of how to live, rather than how to die in times of persecution.” #StMartinsLent

—From St. Nicholas Center, www.StNicholasCenter.org, where there is more information about the saint, customs from around the world, stories and activities for children, recipes, crafts, and much more to help families, churches and schools learn about and celebrate St. Nicholas. Used by permission.

[Image: Detail from St. Martin of Tours and St. Nicholas of Bari [a.k.a. St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra] by Master of Uttenheim (15th Cent.)]

“For most people today, even those who consider themselves 'practicing' Christians, the idea that time is inherently linked to religion is a foreign concept. There are a few residual echoes of the earlier sense that time is marked off into units within a calendar that is a testimony to the work of God, but these are no more than quaint echoes. For more than a millennium 11 November was, literally, a red letter day as the feast of St. Martin of Tours, the elaborate saint's-day liturgy of whose cult dwarfed that of the other saints; but today it is the memorial of the end of World War One. A few names . . . hang on in labels used in some legal and academic calendars, but for most users they are no more than professional jargon . . . We measure time in raw quantities—and are often paid or punished in relation to these quantities.” #StMartinsLent

—Thomas O'Loughlin, “Celtic Theology: Humanity, World, and God in Early Irish Writings” (London: Continuum, 2000), p 166

[Image: Detail from "La charité de Saint-Martin (The Charity of St. Martin)" by an unknown artist (1883), located in Saint-Martin d’Innenheim, Alsace, France]
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“For most people today, even those who consider themselves practicing Christians, the idea that time is inherently linked to religion is a foreign concept. There are a few residual echoes of the earlier sense that time is marked off into units within a calendar that is a testimony to the work of God, but these are no more than quaint echoes. For more than a millennium 11 November was, literally, a red letter day as the feast of St. Martin of Tours, the elaborate saints-day liturgy of whose cult dwarfed that of the other saints; but today it is the memorial of the end of World War One. A few names . . . hang on in labels used in some legal and academic calendars, but for most users they are no more than professional jargon . . . We measure time in raw quantities—and are often paid or punished in relation to these quantities.” #StMartinsLent

—Thomas OLoughlin, “Celtic Theology: Humanity, World, and God in Early Irish Writings” (London: Continuum, 2000), p 166

[Image: Detail from La charité de Saint-Martin (The Charity of St. Martin) by an unknown artist (1883), located in Saint-Martin d’Innenheim, Alsace, France]

“It must have been a hard age when so much could have been made of Martin's dividing his cloak with a shivering beggar. It may, indeed, have been that few Christians then had any cloaks to divide . . . This story of Martin, with the legends of his peacefulness, seem to bear us back to a period when the Church represented the trampled people, and had not yet unsheathed the sword nor gained the throne. Martin of Tours stood in the dawn of the Church's great victory over the North, but he stands white against a sanguinary background—a soldier of Constantine I. who last drew his sword to divide his cloak with a beggar, and then cast that sword away forever.” #StMartinsLent

—Henry Mills Alden, ed., “Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 61” (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1880), p 383

[Image: Detail from "Division of the Cloak" by Simone Martini (1317-1319), located in The Saint Martin Chapel, Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, Assisi, Perugia, Italy]
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“It must have been a hard age when so much could have been made of Martins dividing his cloak with a shivering beggar. It may, indeed, have been that few Christians then had any cloaks to divide . . . This story of Martin, with the legends of his peacefulness, seem to bear us back to a period when the Church represented the trampled people, and had not yet unsheathed the sword nor gained the throne. Martin of Tours stood in the dawn of the Churchs great victory over the North, but he stands white against a sanguinary background—a soldier of Constantine I. who last drew his sword to divide his cloak with a beggar, and then cast that sword away forever.” #StMartinsLent

—Henry Mills Alden, ed., “Harpers New Monthly Magazine, Volume 61” (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1880), p 383

[Image: Detail from Division of the Cloak by Simone Martini (1317-1319), located in The Saint Martin Chapel, Basilica of San Francesco dAssisi, Assisi, Perugia, Italy]

 

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These quotes have been great—many thanks!

“S. Martin was accustomed to leave the monastery and attend the church in order to celebrate Holy Communion. For this act he prepared himself by special prayer and meditation, either kneeling, or sitting upon a simple rustic stool, until the priests, having finished hearing the cases brought to them, came to remind him that the hour had arrived. Leaving the sacristy, he entered the church with the greatest reverence, and refused to have any bishop’s throne or special seat prepared for him, believing that there should be nothing even to suggest the idea of human greatness at such a time.” #StMartinsLent

—Howard Hayes Scullard, “Martin of Tours: Apostle of Gaul” (London: John Heywood, 1891), p 136

[Image: Detail from "St. Martin" by Michel Oster (1830), located in Église St Martin de Fessenheim-le-Bas, Alsace, France]
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“S. Martin was accustomed to leave the monastery and attend the church in order to celebrate Holy Communion. For this act he prepared himself by special prayer and meditation, either kneeling, or sitting upon a simple rustic stool, until the priests, having finished hearing the cases brought to them, came to remind him that the hour had arrived. Leaving the sacristy, he entered the church with the greatest reverence, and refused to have any bishop’s throne or special seat prepared for him, believing that there should be nothing even to suggest the idea of human greatness at such a time.” #StMartinsLent

—Howard Hayes Scullard, “Martin of Tours: Apostle of Gaul” (London: John Heywood, 1891), p 136

[Image: Detail from St. Martin by Michel Oster (1830), located in Église St Martin de Fessenheim-le-Bas, Alsace, France]

“In modern times, the goose has become consecrated to St. Martin, and medals have been struck, representing on one side a goose; on the reverse, the word Martinalia. Whence this singular association of idea? The festival of Saint Martin, of Tours, is indicated in the Catholic calendars to be held on the 11th November; and it was a rule among his devotees to roast a goose for the family-dinner on the day of his anniversary. Martin Schoock, a Flemish monk, had made it a case of conscience, whether, even on the eve of the little lent, it be allowable to eat goose. But, after diving into the weedy pool of casuistic argument, the delighted devotee emerged with the permission to roast his goose. And thus the goose came to be a standing dish on the continent at Martinmas, as in England at Michaelmas.” #StMartinsLent

—“Goose, A Sacred Dish” from “The Atheneum; or, Spirit of the English Magazine” (Boston, MA: Munroe and Francis, 1817), p 259

[Image: Detail from "Apotheose des hl. Martins (Apotheosis of St. Martin)" by Leonhard Thoma (1908), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche de:St. Martin, Blindheim, Germany]
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“In modern times, the goose has become consecrated to St. Martin, and medals have been struck, representing on one side a goose; on the reverse, the word Martinalia. Whence this singular association of idea? The festival of Saint Martin, of Tours, is indicated in the Catholic calendars to be held on the 11th November; and it was a rule among his devotees to roast a goose for the family-dinner on the day of his anniversary. Martin Schoock, a Flemish monk, had made it a case of conscience, whether, even on the eve of the little lent, it be allowable to eat goose. But, after diving into the weedy pool of casuistic argument, the delighted devotee emerged with the permission to roast his goose. And thus the goose came to be a standing dish on the continent at Martinmas, as in England at Michaelmas.” #StMartinsLent

—“Goose, A Sacred Dish” from “The Atheneum; or, Spirit of the English Magazine” (Boston, MA: Munroe and Francis, 1817), p 259

[Image: Detail from Apotheose des hl. Martins (Apotheosis of St. Martin) by Leonhard Thoma (1908), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche de:St. Martin, Blindheim, Germany]

“St. Martin. What a man! What a saint! What a leader! . . . Martin was a daring, decisive, unconventional, generous person, whose spur of the moment decisions seemed always to pay off.

“Martin did nothing by halves . . . it is clear that [he] not only did bold, unusual things but was also a very saintly and compassionate person with a strong faith in Christ, who during a long life worked hard to convert the pagans to Jesus Christ, in spite of attacks on his life. And, miraculous cures and happenings were attested to him, due to Martin’s intervention and his prayers to heaven.” #StMartinsLent

—Patrick Coffey, “Saints of Old” (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2011), p 44

[Image: Detail from "Martin und der Bettler (Martin and the Beggar)" by Joseph Anton Hafner (1743), located in Klosterkirche Weißenau (today parish church of St. Peter and Paul), Germany]
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“St. Martin. What a man! What a saint! What a leader! . . . Martin was a daring, decisive, unconventional, generous person, whose spur of the moment decisions seemed always to pay off.

“Martin did nothing by halves  . . . it is clear that [he] not only did bold, unusual things but was also a very saintly and compassionate person with a strong faith in Christ, who during a long life worked hard to convert the pagans to Jesus Christ, in spite of attacks on his life. And, miraculous cures and happenings were attested to him, due to Martin’s intervention and his prayers to heaven.” #StMartinsLent

—Patrick Coffey, “Saints of Old” (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2011), p 44

[Image: Detail from Martin und der Bettler (Martin and the Beggar) by Joseph Anton Hafner (1743), located in Klosterkirche Weißenau (today parish church of St. Peter and Paul), Germany]

“Sulpicius’s Vita Martini (Life of Martin) [became] one of the most influential texts in Western church history. As a result, Saint Martin would come to embody the Western asceticism of the mixed life, a combination of eremitic asceticism and pastoral work among people . . . [Martin] allowed himself to be led by the original ideals of the Desert Fathers, living on the edge of the human world rather by the principles of the ‘true’ anachoretae. Western Europe would follow him in this respect.” #StMartinsLent

—Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker, “Anchorites in the Low Countries” from “Anchoritic Traditions of Medieval Europe”, Liz Herbert McAvoy, ed. (Woodbridge, England: The Boydell Press, 2010) , pp 24-25

[Image: Detail from "Scene from the Martinslegende" by Gebhard Fugel (1900), located in Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martinus, Wangen, Germany]
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“Sulpicius’s Vita Martini (Life of Martin) [became] one of the most influential texts in Western church history. As a result, Saint Martin would come to embody the Western asceticism of the mixed life, a combination of eremitic asceticism and pastoral work among people . . . [Martin] allowed himself to be led by the original ideals of the Desert Fathers, living on the edge of the human world rather by the principles of the ‘true’ anachoretae. Western Europe would follow him in this respect.” #StMartinsLent

—Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker, “Anchorites in the Low Countries” from “Anchoritic Traditions of Medieval Europe”, Liz Herbert McAvoy, ed. (Woodbridge, England: The Boydell Press, 2010) , pp 24-25

[Image: Detail from Scene from the Martinslegende by Gebhard Fugel (1900), located in Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martinus, Wangen, Germany]

“Martin obstinately refused to communicate with those ecclesiastics who were demanding the use of violence against heresy. He even took the same attitude toward the local clergy who had not broken ties with them . . . Martin then proposed a farsighted compromise, which his antagonists (although they later broke their part of it) accepted . . . Martin’s intervention [over the heretics] was a result of his rejection of the use of secular power against heresy.” #StMartinsLent

—Jean-Michel Hornus, “It is Not Lawful for Me to Fight: Early Christian Attitudes Toward War, Violence, and the State,” trans. Alan Kreider and Oliver Coburn (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2009), p 151

[Image: Detail from a fresco, probably by Joseph Christ (1760-1770), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Horagu, Germany]
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“Martin obstinately refused to communicate with those ecclesiastics who were demanding the use of violence against heresy. He even took the same attitude toward the local clergy who had not broken ties with them . . . Martin then proposed a farsighted compromise, which his antagonists (although they later broke their part of it) accepted . . . Martin’s intervention [over the heretics] was a result of his rejection of the use of secular power against heresy.” #StMartinsLent

—Jean-Michel Hornus, “It is Not Lawful for Me to Fight: Early Christian Attitudes Toward War, Violence, and the State,” trans. Alan Kreider and Oliver Coburn (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2009), p 151 

[Image: Detail from a fresco, probably by Joseph Christ (1760-1770), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Horagu, Germany]

“In the fourth and fifth centuries the primary concern of bishops was the spiritual warfare of Christians in towns and their immediate hinterland. The unbelievers in the more distant regions moved only gradually toward belief. Martin of Tours was one of the few who ventured into the remotest reaches of his see to challenge the traditional beliefs of the forest dwellers. His encounters with the idols of the Gauls led many to the faith.” #StMartinsLent

—James McSherry, “Outreach and Renewal: A First-Millennium Legacy for the Third-Millennium Church” (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2011), p 106

[Image: Detail from 'St. Martin" by Gustav Adolf Closs (1900)]
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“In the fourth and fifth centuries the primary concern of bishops was the spiritual warfare of Christians in towns and their immediate hinterland. The unbelievers in the more distant regions moved only gradually toward belief. Martin of Tours was one of the few who ventured into the remotest reaches of his see to challenge the traditional beliefs of the forest dwellers. His encounters with the idols of the Gauls led many to the faith.” #StMartinsLent

—James McSherry, “Outreach and Renewal: A First-Millennium Legacy for the Third-Millennium Church” (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2011), p 106

[Image: Detail from St. Martin by Gustav Adolf Closs (1900)]

“In his time, Martin inaugurated an entire civilization: He very humbly took the first steps toward making every Christian responsible for his neighbor.

"As a bishop, he was different from the other bishops who settled down in their town, celebrated the liturgy in the cathedral, and taught those who were around them. Without fanfare, without announcing his intention, without in any way reproaching the others, he constantly overstepped the limits of his city and of his diocese; he became the itinerant bishop, because he was concerned about instructing the people of the countryside, the pagani, who remained pagan. He did not look for crowds, but spoke to little groups of villagers. This is perhaps not what the people of Tours expected when the called on him to be the head of their diocese, but it was what would raise up the steeples of our villages and bring about the flowering of rural France.” #StMartinsLent

— Régine Pernoud, “Martin of Tours: Solider, Bishop, and Saint” (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), p 182-183

[Image: Detail from "St. Martin Becomes Bishop of Tours" by Gebhard Fugel (1900), located in Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martinus, Wangen, Germany]
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“In his time, Martin inaugurated an entire civilization: He very humbly took the first steps toward making every Christian responsible for his neighbor.

As a bishop, he was different from the other bishops who settled down in their town, celebrated the liturgy in the cathedral, and taught those who were around them. Without fanfare, without announcing his intention, without in any way reproaching the others, he constantly overstepped the limits of his city and of his diocese; he became the itinerant bishop, because he was concerned about instructing the people of the countryside, the pagani, who remained pagan. He did not look for crowds, but spoke to little groups of villagers. This is perhaps not what the people of Tours expected when the called on him to be the head of their diocese, but it was what would raise up the steeples of our villages and bring about the flowering of rural France.” #StMartinsLent

— Régine Pernoud, “Martin of Tours: Solider, Bishop, and Saint” (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), p 182-183

[Image: Detail from St. Martin Becomes Bishop of Tours by Gebhard Fugel (1900), located in Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martinus, Wangen, Germany]

 

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Hannah Dallman

“When Martin of Tours began to introduce the ascetic life to Gaul in the middle of the fourth century, his disciple, Sulpicius Severus, humorously described his difficulties in a dialogue. He quoted a typical Gaul’s response that fasting was simply alien to the nature of his people . . . Nevertheless, in the twilight of the western empire, many people turned from the transient world to the contemplation of eternity. Monasticism in the embattled west was more likely to be an urban phenomenon, a fortress against the violence of the desert, than a haven from the temptations of the city. When the legions of Rome retreated, the power of prayer became the sole recourse for the women and men who defended the city of God.” #StMartinsLent

—Jo Ann McNamara, “Sisters in Arms: Catholic Nuns Through Two Millennia” (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), p 91

[Image: Detail from "Scene from the Martinslegende" by Gebhard Fugel (1900), located in Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martinus, Wangen, Germany]
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“When Martin of Tours began to introduce the ascetic life to Gaul in the middle of the fourth century, his disciple, Sulpicius Severus, humorously described his difficulties in a dialogue. He quoted a typical Gaul’s response that fasting was simply alien to the nature of his people . . . Nevertheless, in the twilight of the western empire, many people turned from the transient world to the contemplation of eternity. Monasticism in the embattled west was more likely to be an urban phenomenon, a fortress against the violence of the desert, than a haven from the temptations of the city. When the legions of Rome retreated, the power of prayer became the sole recourse for the women and men who defended the city of God.” #StMartinsLent

—Jo Ann McNamara, “Sisters in Arms: Catholic Nuns Through Two Millennia” (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), p 91

[Image: Detail from Scene from the Martinslegende by Gebhard Fugel (1900), located in Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martinus, Wangen, Germany]

“Miraculously speaking infants who give witness to others’ blessedness include those who exclaim the sanctity of saints . . . Infants could also explain how a saint had protected them from harm, as did a ten-month-old child in the legend of St. Martin of Tours, when its mother feared that the baby would die without being baptized. She placed him on St. Martin’s tomb, and when he woke up, he laughed and called out, ‘Come here’ to his mother and asked her to bring him some water. . . Afterward, he ‘returned to the first wailings of infancy, and never spoke again until he reached that age at which children are accustomed to loosen their tongues in speech.’ " #StMartinsLent

—Christine F. Cooper-Rompato, “The Gift of Tongues: Women’s Xenoglossia in the Later Middle Ages” (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania state University Press, 2010), p 151

[Image: Detail from "Guérison d'un enfant par saint Martin (Healing a Child by Saint Martin)" by Caroline Sorg (1864), located in Église Saint-Martin de Wilwisheim, Alsace, France]
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“Miraculously speaking infants who give witness to others’ blessedness include those who exclaim the sanctity of saints . . . Infants could also explain how a saint had protected them from harm, as did a ten-month-old child in the legend of St. Martin of Tours, when its mother feared that the baby would die without being baptized. She placed him on St. Martin’s tomb, and when he woke up, he laughed and called out, ‘Come here’ to his mother and asked her to bring him some water. . . Afterward, he ‘returned to the first wailings of infancy, and never spoke again until he reached that age at which children are accustomed to loosen their tongues in speech.’  #StMartinsLent

—Christine F. Cooper-Rompato, “The Gift of Tongues: Women’s Xenoglossia in the Later Middle Ages” (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania state University Press, 2010), p 151

[Image: Detail from Guérison dun enfant par saint Martin (Healing a Child by Saint Martin) by Caroline Sorg (1864), located in Église Saint-Martin de Wilwisheim, Alsace, France]

“The day of his death had been revealed to S. Martin, it is said, for a long time. At last the end came . . . When he told his disciples that he was about to leave them, they were filled with sorry, and could not restrain their tears. ‘Why, holy father,’ said they, ‘are you leave us? To whose charge are you committing us? Ravening wolves will seize the flock after your departure . . .’ Moved by the sign of their grief, the aged saint lifted up his voice in prayer: ‘O Lord, if I am still necessary to Thy people, I do not refuse the labor; Thy will be done.’

“He continued to the last his austerities, lying in sackcloth and ashes, with his face towards heaven and his hands extended . . . Once more the Devil appears, and, uttering his last defiance against his life-long tormentor, S. Martin passed away. A concert of angels was heard in heaven . . .” #StMartinsLent

—Howard Hayes Scullard, “Martin of Tours: Apostle of Gaul” (London: John Heywood, 1891), pp 143-144

[Image: Detail from "Tod des heiligen Martin (Death of St. Martin)" by an unknown artist (1777), located in Pfarrkirche St.Martin, Oberwölz, Germany]
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“The day of his death had been revealed to S. Martin, it is said, for a long time. At last the end came . . . When he told his disciples that he was about to leave them, they were filled with sorry, and could not restrain their tears. ‘Why, holy father,’ said they, ‘are you leave us? To whose charge are you committing us? Ravening wolves will seize the flock after your departure . . .’ Moved by the sign of their grief, the aged saint lifted up his voice in prayer: ‘O Lord, if I am still necessary to Thy people, I do not refuse the labor; Thy will be done.’

“He continued to the last his austerities, lying in sackcloth and ashes, with his face towards heaven and his hands extended . . . Once more the Devil appears, and, uttering his last defiance against his life-long tormentor, S. Martin passed away. A concert of angels was heard in heaven . . .” #StMartinsLent

—Howard Hayes Scullard, “Martin of Tours: Apostle of Gaul” (London: John Heywood, 1891), pp 143-144

[Image: Detail from Tod des heiligen Martin (Death of St. Martin) by an unknown artist (1777), located in Pfarrkirche St.Martin, Oberwölz, Germany]

“[The United States] is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin [but] the fact of the matter appears to be that St. Martin of Tours picked the United States out for himself. When the Pilgrims were newly arrived in Massachusetts, they were saved from starvation . . . [by] that mild season known in Europe as St. Martin’s summer. When the Colonies were ready to cast off the British yoke, they adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th—the Feast of St. Martin’s translation and ordination . . . It is not merely matters such as these that suggest St. Martin’s influence over the United States.

“The often-depicted incident of [St. Martin] dividing his cloak with a beggar typifies the traditional generosity of our nation in relief of the destitute of all lands. His decision to renounce military life on becoming a Christian . . . reflects the driving idealism . . . and the peace-loving character of our foreign policy. St. Martin’s distaste for fancy trappings of office strikes a responsive chord in American hearts, as does his democratic manner toward counts and emperors . . . Our nation was the first to achieve separation of Church and State [and] in a dark and often bloody period of history, St. Martin was one of the few to stand against the persecution of heretics . . .The best characteristics of American life are the characteristics of Martin of Tours.” #StMartinsLent

—“St. Martin,” The Living Church, Vol. 107 (4 July 1943): 16

[Image: Detail from "Saint-Martin en Officier Romain Partageant son Manteau avec un Pauvre" by an unknown artist, located in église Saint Martin, Louvie-Juzon, France]
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“[The United States] is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin [but] the fact of the matter appears to be that St. Martin of Tours picked the United States out for himself. When the Pilgrims were newly arrived in Massachusetts, they were saved from starvation . . . [by] that mild season known in Europe as St. Martin’s summer. When the Colonies were ready to cast off the British yoke, they adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th—the Feast of St. Martin’s translation and ordination . . . It is not merely matters such as these that suggest St. Martin’s influence over the United States.

“The often-depicted incident of [St. Martin] dividing his cloak with a beggar typifies the traditional generosity of our nation in relief of the destitute of all lands. His decision to renounce military life on becoming a Christian . . . reflects the driving idealism . . . and the peace-loving character of our foreign policy. St. Martin’s distaste for fancy trappings of office strikes a responsive chord in American hearts, as does his democratic manner toward counts and emperors . . . Our nation was the first to achieve separation of Church and State [and] in a dark and often bloody period of history, St. Martin was one of the few to stand against the persecution of heretics . . .The best characteristics of American life are the characteristics of Martin of Tours.” #StMartinsLent

—“St. Martin,” The Living Church, Vol. 107 (4 July 1943): 16

[Image: Detail from Saint-Martin en Officier Romain Partageant son Manteau avec un Pauvre by an unknown artist, located in église Saint Martin, Louvie-Juzon, France]

There are many symbols associated with Martin of Tours:
• a tree (from a legend concerning a tree that would not fall on him)
• armor (symbol for the soldier saint)
• a cloak (from the legend the story of the cloak he cut in two to clothe the beggar)
• a beggar
• a goose (from the legend that while he was hiding because he did not want to be made bishop of Tours, his pet goose kept honking and giving away his whereabouts) #StMartinsLent

—Ohio Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio, “Saints and Feast Days” (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1985), p 43

[Image: Detail of ceiling fresco by Franz Anton Zeiller (1753), located in the nave of Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Sachsenried, Germany]
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There are many symbols associated with Martin of Tours:
• a tree (from a legend concerning a tree that would not fall on him)
• armor (symbol for the soldier saint)
• a cloak (from the legend the story of the cloak he cut in two to clothe the beggar)
• a beggar
• a goose (from the legend that while he was hiding because he did not want to be made bishop of Tours, his pet goose kept honking and giving away his whereabouts) #StMartinsLent

—Ohio Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio, “Saints and Feast Days” (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1985), p 43

[Image: Detail of ceiling fresco by Franz Anton Zeiller (1753), located in the nave of Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Sachsenried, Germany]

“Thousands of mourners of every age and class thereupon came to follow the barge along the towpath, and St. Martin was buried in his episcopal city, in the Cemetery of the Poor (his own preference, it was claimed). Over his tomb, successive chapels and basilicas were built . . . His shrine at Tours became part of the great pilgrimage route from Compostela in Spain to Rome, and his cult spread far . . . Moreover he is a saint of undivided Christendom, recognized in both West and East as ‘equal to the apostles.’

. . . But what chiefly recommends St. Martin of Tours is the uncontestable fact that he stands as the idea missionary bishop: Single-hearted, fearless, and conspicuously holy.” #StMartinsLent

—Ted Byfield, “Darkness Descends: A.D. 350 to 565, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire” (Christian History Project, 2003), p 210

[Image: Detail from "Transfer of the Corpse of St. Martin" by Gebhard Fugel (1900), located in Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martinus, Wangen, Germany]
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“Thousands of mourners of every age and class thereupon came to follow the barge along the towpath, and St. Martin was buried in his episcopal city, in the Cemetery of the Poor (his own preference, it was claimed). Over his tomb, successive chapels and basilicas were built . . . His shrine at Tours became part of the great pilgrimage route from Compostela in Spain to Rome, and his cult spread far . . . Moreover he is a saint of undivided Christendom, recognized in both West and East as ‘equal to the apostles.’

 . . . But what chiefly recommends St. Martin of Tours is the uncontestable fact that he stands as the idea missionary bishop: Single-hearted, fearless, and conspicuously holy.” #StMartinsLent

—Ted Byfield, “Darkness Descends: A.D. 350 to 565, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire” (Christian History Project, 2003), p 210

[Image: Detail from Transfer of the Corpse of St. Martin by Gebhard Fugel (1900), located in Stadtpfarrkirche St. Martinus, Wangen, Germany]

“St. Martin of Tours . . . became the patron saint of France. The Frankish kings preserved his cloak, or cappella, as a sacred relic, bearing it before them in battle, and keeping it otherwise within a holy sanctuary. This sanctuary thus became known as the cappella, and those under whose charge the cloak was placed were known as cappellani. These terms became chapel and chapelain in Old French, and thus yielded the English chapel and chaplain.” #StMartinsLent

—Charles Earle Funk, “Thereby Hangs a Tale – Stories of Curious Word Origins” (Redditch, England: Read Books Ltd., 2013)

[Image: Detail from ceiling painting by an unknown artist, located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Zusamaltheim, Germany]
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“St. Martin of Tours . . . became the patron saint of France. The Frankish kings preserved his cloak, or cappella, as a sacred relic, bearing it before them in battle, and keeping it otherwise within a holy sanctuary. This sanctuary thus became known as the cappella, and those under whose charge the cloak was placed were known as cappellani. These terms became chapel and chapelain in Old French, and thus yielded the English chapel and chaplain.” #StMartinsLent

—Charles Earle Funk, “Thereby Hangs a Tale – Stories of Curious Word Origins” (Redditch, England: Read Books Ltd., 2013)

[Image: Detail from ceiling painting by an unknown artist, located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Zusamaltheim, Germany]

“[The] Evil One once appeared to Martin as he was praying in his cell. Satan was clad in royal robes, with a diadem of gems and gold on his head . . . After a long silence, on both sides, the visitor announced himself as Christ . . . But by this time the real nature of the speaker had been revealed to Martin, and he declared that he would believe in the coming of his Lord when he saw Him in the dress and form in which He suffered, and displaying the wounds inflicted on the cross.

“The following is the comment of the then vicar of St. Mary’s, Oxford:—‘The application of this vision to Martin’s age is obvious: I suppose it means in this day, that Christ comes not in pride of intellect or reputation for philosophy. These are the glittering robes in which Satan is now arraying. Many spirits are abroad, more are issuing from the pit; the credentials which they display are the precious gifts of mind, beauty, richness, depth, originality. Christian, look hard at them with Martin in silence, and ask them for the print of the nails.’ ” #StMartinsLent

—John Gibson Cazenove, “St. Hilary of Poitiers and St. Martin of Tours” (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1883), pp 261-262

[Image: Ceiling painting by Fidel Schabet (1846), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Unteressendorf, Germany]
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“[The] Evil One once appeared to Martin as he was praying in his cell. Satan was clad in royal robes, with a diadem of gems and gold on his head . . . After a long silence, on both sides, the visitor announced himself as Christ . . . But by this time the real nature of the speaker had been revealed to Martin, and he declared that he would believe in the coming of his Lord when he saw Him in the dress and form in which He suffered, and displaying the wounds inflicted on the cross.

“The following is the comment of the then vicar of St. Mary’s, Oxford:—‘The application of this vision to Martin’s age is obvious: I suppose it means in this day, that Christ comes not in pride of intellect or reputation for philosophy. These are the glittering robes in which Satan is now arraying. Many spirits are abroad, more are issuing from the pit; the credentials which they display are the precious gifts of mind, beauty, richness, depth, originality. Christian, look hard at them with Martin in silence, and ask them for the print of the nails.’ ” #StMartinsLent

—John Gibson Cazenove, “St. Hilary of Poitiers and St. Martin of Tours” (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1883), pp 261-262

[Image: Ceiling painting by Fidel Schabet (1846), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin, Unteressendorf, Germany]

“Over the tomb of St. Martin of Tours the visitor could have read: ‘Here lies Martin the bishop, of holy memory, whose soul is in the hand of God: But he is fully here, present and made plain in miracles of every kind.’ The inscription encapsulates many of the fundamental themes of the cult of saints: The physical body, remembrance, intimate connection to God, miracles, and living presence among the faithful who come to his tomb.” #StMartinsLent

—Lawrence Nees, “Early Medieval Art” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p 117

[Image: Detail from "Muerte de San Martín" by Maestro de San Lázaro (16th Cent.)]
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“Over the tomb of St. Martin of Tours the visitor could have read: ‘Here lies Martin the bishop, of holy memory, whose soul is in the hand of God: But he is fully here, present and made plain in miracles of every kind.’ The inscription encapsulates many of the fundamental themes of the cult of saints: The physical body, remembrance, intimate connection to God, miracles, and living presence among the faithful who come to his tomb.” #StMartinsLent

—Lawrence Nees, “Early Medieval Art” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p 117

[Image: Detail from Muerte de San Martín by Maestro de San Lázaro (16th Cent.)]

“The virtue of St. Martin, which was the miracle of the world, was founded in the most profound humility, perfect meekness, and self-denial, by which he was dead to himself, in his continual meditation on religious truths, in his love of heavenly things, and contempt of the world, to which his heart was crucified: Lastly, in the constant union of his soul to God, by the exercise of holy prayer, and by the entire resignation of himself to the divine will in all things without reserve.” #StMartinsLent

—Rev. Alban Butler, “The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints” (Dublin: James Duffy, 1866)

[Image: Detail from "St. Ulrich und Martin Langhausfresko" by Konrad Huber (~1787), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Ulrich und Martin, Wittislingen, Germany]
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“The virtue of St. Martin, which was the miracle of the world, was founded in the most profound humility, perfect meekness, and self-denial, by which he was dead to himself, in his continual meditation on religious truths, in his love of heavenly things, and contempt of the world, to which his heart was crucified: Lastly, in the constant union of his soul to God, by the exercise of holy prayer, and by the entire resignation of himself to the divine will in all things without reserve.” #StMartinsLent

—Rev. Alban Butler, “The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints” (Dublin: James Duffy, 1866)

[Image: Detail from St. Ulrich und Martin Langhausfresko by Konrad Huber (~1787), located in Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Ulrich und Martin, Wittislingen, Germany]

“Saint Martin—we might say—is an everyday saint. Above all he accepted life as it was presented to him . . . And perhaps that was precisely the most humble, the least visible form of holiness he could practice. [It] was precisely in his daily routine that he found God. In everyday life, with its lowly duties, its little conflicts, its modest gains.” #StMartinsLent

—Régine Pernoud, "Martin of Tours: Soldier, Bishop, and Saint" (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), pp 179-180

[Image: Detail from "Glorification de-Saint Martin" (1893), a mural located in Église Saint-Martin d'Ebersheim]
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“Saint Martin—we might say—is an everyday saint. Above all he accepted life as it was presented to him . . . And perhaps that was precisely the most humble, the least visible form of holiness he could practice. [It] was precisely in his daily routine that he found God. In everyday life, with its lowly duties, its little conflicts, its modest gains.” #StMartinsLent

—Régine Pernoud, Martin of Tours: Soldier, Bishop, and Saint (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), pp 179-180

[Image: Detail from Glorification de-Saint Martin (1893), a mural located in Église Saint-Martin dEbersheim]
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