St. Martin followed his father’s footsteps into military life, but later on became Christ’s soldier in the spiritual battlefield.
A young soldier and a catechumen, he clothed a freezing beggar with his own cloak that he halved with his own sword.
Later on, he dreamed of Jesus Himself clothed in the cloak, saying: “Martin, a catechumen, has clothed me with this garment.”
This would leave such an impression on him that his biographer Sulpicius writes: upon awakening, “Martin flew to be baptized.”
Martin’s military discipline, guided by his Christian conscience, empowered him in combat.
But he would soon feel torn between killing people for a powerful empire while professing the faith, so he asked to be discharged from the army.
“I have served you as a soldier; now let me serve Christ,” he said.
When he was accused of cowardice, he offered to stand at the frontline of battle, carrying only a cross.
Good thing, the Germans called for a truce and he didn’t need to do this.
Leaving the military, he dedicated his life to the service of Jesus and His Church.
He became a missionary and established what is probably the first French monastery near Poitiers.
Martin’s reputation for holiness was so great, considering that he raised two people from the dead through his prayers, that he was “tricked” into getting ordained bishop.
As a bishop, he was an active soldier at the spiritual frontlines, defending the Church against the Arian and Priscillian heresies and the Druid religion; tearing down pagan temples, which he understood to be dedicated to demons; and even exorcising demons from people.
In today’s day and age, how many of us are willing to take a sharp detour from the life we had planned out for ourselves?
A life dedicated to Jesus takes discipline, commitment, and sacrifice, values which unfortunately, the world teaches a skewed version of.
May the Holy Spirit enlighten us to see that we are but pilgrims in this journey to heaven.
Let us pray for St. Martin of Tours’ intercession so that the Kingdom of God may reign in our lives.
1. Which of my personal plans have I yet to offer back to God?
1. Identify an area of your life that you can work on intentionally redirecting back to Jesus.
References for further reading:
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