Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy feast of St Martin!

Today is the feast of St Martin's, which in our parish trumps the Sunday of Ordinary Time as he is our patron. Here's today's collect:
"O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin both by his life and death, make new, we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that neither death nor life may separate us from your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ..."
 Martin was a soldier of the Roman legions. One night on guard, he split his cloak and gave it to a beggar. Later he dreamed that the beggar was Christ, and later gave up fighting to become a monk. Martin was claimed by Tours to become bishop,  and died in A.D. 397.

Tomb of St Martin in the Basilica in Tours
Now, it is also Veterans' Day, which coincides with Armistice Day, and this year Remembrance Sunday. Treaties were traditionally signed today in Europe, because St Martin is the patron of Soldiers. Now, the Great War ended today, at 11:00 in the morning. I get the tradition. But, this was the greatest-in a negative fashion to a large extent-war in history, which threatened to rage on, because the German generals struggled for a few months to work towards surrender, with or without the government's consent. It could only be an act of God that it ended on St Martin's Day.

St Martin of Tours, pray for our troops!

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