Feast Day – 11 November
Born to pagan parents; his father was a Roman military officer. Martin was raised in Pavia, Italy. He discovered Christianity, and became a catechumen in his early teens. Joined the Roman imperial army at age 15 and was eventually made a Bishop.
Trying to live his faith, he refused to let his servant to wait on him. Once, while on horseback in Gaul (modern France), he encountered a begger. Having nothing to give but the clothes on his back, he cut his heavy officer’s cloak in half, and gave it to the beggar. Later he had a vision of Christ wearing the cloak.
He travelled much and by his zeal, fervour and charity he brought about the conversion of the many throughout the length and breadth of France.
At present some 400 churches in France are dedicated to the memory of St Martin and whilst the French solemnly observe the signing of the Armistice on November 11th they also venerate the memory of their Patron Saint whose feast falls on the same day.