St. Martin of Tours

Friends in Christ, today is the Feast of St. Martin of Tours.
St. Martin was born in the year 316 and although his parents were not Christians, the nurse that cared for him taught him about Jesus.[i]
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At age 15, his father, who was a roman soldier, urged him to follow in his footsteps. Martin had a feeling that he was called to something else, but nevertheless he became a soldier. As he went about his duties, although he was not baptized, he found ways to teach others about Christ.
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One day he saw a poor beggar in the cold; no one helped him. he felt that Jesus would want him to do something, so he took out his sword, and cut his cloak in two, giving half to the beggar. That night, Jesus appeared in a dream to Martin; he was wearing half of a cloak and said, ‘Martin, you have clothed me.’ Soon after this, he was baptized into the Faith.
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When his army went to battle, Martin told the general that he preferred to serve Christ. “You’re a coward, they told him. So he was put into prison. But after serving time in prison, he founded a community of monks and sought a life of prayer. The people of the city liked him very much, and they insisted that he become their bishop, and so he was.
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Martin possessed the gift of discerning spirits. Once the devil appeared to him in beautiful, royal clothes, and spoke as if he were Christ. But Martin, recognizing the deceit, replied, “The Lord Jesus Christ never prophesied that He would come in purple robes and royal crown.” The apparition immediately vanished.
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St. Martin of Tours healed people by his prayers, and raised three dead persons to life; also while celebrating Mass a luminous sphere once appeared above his head.
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In the cold November, of 397, St. Martin approached his death, but as he expired, the gloom of Autumn disappeared, and for three days it was as sunny and beautiful as summer. St. Martin is the patron saint of soldiers, which is very appropriate on this Veteran’s day.

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[i] By age 10 he was a catechumen, that is, one who is preparing for baptism.

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