Saint Martin the Merciful  

Today in the Church we honor the memory of St Martin of Tours. From the OCA website we read this about the saint:

Saint Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours, was born at Sabaria in Pannonia (modern Hungary) in 316. Since his father was a Roman officer, he also was obliged to serve in the army. Martin did so unwillingly, for he considered himself a soldier of Christ, though he was still a catechumen. 

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At the gates of Amiens, he saw a beggar shivering in the severe winter cold, so he cut his cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. That night, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the saint wearing Martin’s cloak. He heard the Savior say to the angels surrounding Him, “Martin is only a catechumen, but he has clothed Me with this garment.” 

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St Martin fulfilled Christ’s teaching that to clothe the least of His brothers and sisters is to clothe Christ Himself. St Martin also understood that though he lived as a citizen of the Roman Empire, his true citizenship was in God’s Kingdom, and he endeavored in his lifetime to make God’s Kingdom his priority seeking the glory that comes from God rather than from the Empire.

The Troparion of St Martin:

In signs and in miracles you were renowned throughout Gaul.

By grace and adoption you are a light for the world, O Martin, blessed of God.

Almsdeeds and compassion filled your life with their splendors,

Teaching and wise counsel were your riches and treasures,

Which you dispense freely to those who honor you.

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