11 November 2008

Martin of Tours, Pastor

I remember my first encounter as a young teenager with the story of St. Martin of Tour at St. Andrew on the Sunday nearest to Veteran's Day, when the LLL (or was it the LCMS chaplaincy ministry?) gave out St. Martin of Tours crosses with a bit of the story of this fourth century solider saint turned monastic.

From our Synod's website, and also from the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Born into a pagan family in what is now Hungary around the year A.D. 316, Martin grew up in Lombardy (Italy). Coming to the Christian faith as a young person, he began a career in the Roman army. But sensing a call to a church vocation, Martin left the military and became a monk, affirming that he was “Christ's soldier.” Eventually, Martin was named bishop of Tours in western Gaul (France). He is remembered for his simple lifestyle and his determination to share the Gospel throughout rural Gaul. Incidentally, on St. Martin's Day in 1483, the one-day-old son of Hans and Margarette Luther was baptized and given the name “Martin” Luther.

The Treasury offers this prayer upon the commemoration of St. Martin of Tours:

Lord God of hosts, Your servant Martin the soldier embodied the spirit of sacrifice. He became a bishop in Your Church to defend the catholic faith. Give us grace to follow his steps so that when our Lord returns we may be clothed with the baptismal garment of righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Treasury of Daily Prayer, page 903)

1 comment:

Dr Matt Phillips said...

Martin of Tours also played a big role in the introduction of monasticism to the West. He lived quite an ascetic life and promoted a monastic community.