Friday, November 11, 2011

St. Martin of Tours: Veteran

St. Martin of Tours
"While Martin was still a soldier in the Roman army he experienced the vision that became the most-repeated story about his life. One day as he was approaching the gates of the city of Amiens he met a scantily clad beggar. He impulsively cut his own military cloak in half and shared it with the beggar. That night, Martin dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clad me." In another story, when St Martin woke, his cloak was restored, and the miraculous cloak was preserved among the relic collection of the kings of the Franks. The dream confirmed Martin in his piety, and he was baptized at the age of 18. He served in the military for another two years until, just before a battle with the Gauls at Borbetomagus (now Worms, Germany) in 336, Martin determined that his faith prohibited him from fighting, saying, "I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight." He was charged with cowardice and jailed, but in response to the charge, he volunteered to go unarmed to the front of the troops. His superiors planned to take him up on the offer, but before they could, the invaders sued for peace, the battle never occurred, and Martin was released from military service."

Also today, our country celebrates Veterans' Day. Please pray for those men and women who have sacrificed their youth, their fortunes and lives so we can have the freedom to, among other things, write about our faith on the internet. It is fitting that St. Martin of Tours' feast falls on this day as the better option is always peace and every soldier's desire is to serve under it's gentle leadership.