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October 12, 2016 + The Virtue of St. Martin of Tours

by St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Prologue of Ohrid: Lives of the Saints, October 12th

By what virtue have the saints been most exalted and glorified in the eyes of heaven and men? Primarily by their humility and service. Even before his baptism, while he was still an officer, St. Martin had a servant whom he considered more a brother than a servant. He often served this servant unashamedly; in fact, he even rejoiced in it. Again, when St. Hilary wanted to ordain him a priest, he refused this honor with tears, and begged the bishop to let him simply be a monk in some remote place. Once, St. Martin was traveling from France to Pannonia to visit his parents. While he was crossing over the Alps, murderous robbers captured him. When one of the robbers raised his sword to behead him, Martin showed no fear, and remained motionless; he did not beg for mercy but was completely at peace, as if nothing were happening. The robber, amazed at such behavior, lay aside his sword and asked Martin who he was. Martin replied that he was a Christian, and hence, he was not afraid-for he knew that God, according to His great mercy, is always close to men, especially in times of danger. The thieves were astonished at the rare virtue of this man of God, and he who had drawn his sword against Martin believed in Christ, was baptized, and later became a monk. When the episcopal throne in Tours became vacant, the people wanted Martin to be bishop, but Martin did not even want to hear of it. However, certain citizens of Tours craftily lured him from the monastery and carried him off. They came to the gate of Martin's monastery and told the Martin that a sick man was out there with them, and they begged him for a blessing. When Martin came out they seized him, took him to Tours, and had him consecrated bishop. In old age, he foresaw his approaching death. He told his brethren and they began to weep copiously, begging him not to leave them. The saint, seeking to comfort them, prayed to God in their presence and said: ''Lord, if I am still needed by Thy people, I do not reject the labor. Let it be according to Thy holy will.''

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St. Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours

Troparion, Tone 4

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.

Kontakion, Tone 8

As a devoted man of God, you proclaimed His mysteries, and as a seer of the Trinity, you shed your blessings on the Occident. By your prayers and entreaties, O adornment of Tours and glory of all the Church, preserve us, O Saint Martin, and save all who praise your memory.


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