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  Two Saints Named Martin
The list of November saints includes two great men named Martin. On November 3, we celebrate Martin de Porres, a multiracial child of the New World who became a Dominican brother known for healing the sick and feeding the hungry. On November 11, we celebrate Martin of Tours, who began his career as a Roman army o cer and became Bishop of Tours, a city about 120 miles southwest of Paris.
These two Martins are separated by their occupations, the vast Atlantic Ocean, and almost 1200 years. What unites them is their unfailing charity.
Saint Martin of Tours (316–397) November 11
When Martin of Tours was a teenage o cer in the Roman army, he was stationed at Amiens in Gaul (present- day France). One icy winter day when he rode through the city gate on his  ne horse, Martin saw a beggar shivering with cold. Martin had no money to give, but he did have his  eece-lined cloak and his sword. He used his weapon to cut his cloak in half, then wrapped half around the beggar. That night in a dream, Martin saw the beggar wearing his cloak, only the beggar was Jesus.
Martin went immediately to be baptized and eventually resigned his commission
in the army. He decided to devote his life to spreading the news of Jesus and his Church to others. Martin gathered a few followers and together they formed an early monastic community close to Tours. Martin’s goodness and holiness were recognized by the people of Tours, and they wanted him to become their bishop,
a position Martin refused. They sent word that a sick woman wanted to see him before she died. Martin came to town and soon recognized the trick. He tried to hide, but legend says his pet goose followed him to town. The goose found Martin and honked for joy, giving away his hiding place. The townspeople carried Martin to the cathedral and proclaimed him bishop. After his death, Martin’s shrine at Tours became a popular pilgrimage site.
In art, we see images of Martin on his horse, cutting his cloak in half. There may be a ball of  re above his head because a ball of  re was sometimes seen above his head when he celebrated Mass. The image might also include the pet goose that gave away Martin’s hiding place.
Saint Martin is the patron of soldiers, and it seems appropriate that we honor him on November 11, Veterans Day—the day when the armistice ending World War I was signed in 1918.
Saints of the Season Holiday Season 2017
        A Service of
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