Pope St. Martin I

Friends in Christ,
today is the Feast of Pope St. Martin I. Martin was Pope in the middle of the 7th century, and he is the last of the Popes who were martyrs – for now.
.
Before he was Pope, Martin was a strong defender of the true Faith of Christ, and he spoke out against a heresy of the day called Monothelitism. Monothelitism was the teaching that there is only one Will in Jesus Christ, but this is false. Jesus is true God and true Man; as a man like us, he has a mind and will: he can choose to do good or evil, to do God’s will or not. But Christ is also Divine, he is God the Son. So Jesus has ‘two wills,’ his human will and his divine will, but they were always aligned. He said ‘I have come not to do my own will, but the will of the One who sent me.’ Unlike us, who often do something bad which is not God’s will, Jesus aligned his human will to the Divine will all the time.
.
But the raging heresy in the East was that Christ had only one will – this would mean he was not truly Man, since a human being has free will. As we said, Martin spoke forcefully against Monothelitism, which was favored by the Emperor. He convened a synod and reaffirmed two wills in Christ. This immediately drew the anger of the Emperor.
.
The Emperor sent his chamberlain Olympius telling him: ‘either kill the Pope or bring him into exile.’ Arriving there, Olympius hired a servant to murder the Pope while he was giving out Holy Communion at Mass. But as the servant neared Pope Martin, he was suddenly struck with blindness and could not see. Witnessing this marvel, Olympius instead captured Pope Martin and brought him to Constantinople.
.
Already sickly, the Pope was subjected to humiliation and abuse on the 3 month voyage, in which he almost died of dysentery. After condemning him on trumped up charges, he was stripped in public and an iron collar was placed on his neck by which they dragged him through the streets. The horrified crowd watched all this, and ultimately Martin was sent to die in exile.
.
Pope St. Martin lived his life entirely for the truth of Christ. We ourselves must also be ready to endure anything for the Truth of Christ, and like our Lord, we must always try to do God’s holy will. 

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation