Saint Martin Enlisted
Saint Martin was required to enlist in the cavalry when he was fifteen years old because his father was a veteran. In 334 A.D., Saint Martin was sent to Samarobriva, Gaul to serve his military career. Today, the area where he was stationed is known as Amiens, France.
Saint Martin and the Cloak
While serving as a soldier in Amiens, Saint Martin had a vision. In his vision, a naked beggar approached Saint Martin while he was riding his horse through the gates to Amiens. Saint Martin rips his cloak in half and gives the beggar one half of the cloak. During that same night, Saint Martin dreamed that Jesus was wearing the piece of his cloak that was given to the beggar. Saint Martin heard Jesus speak to His angels, “Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptized; he has clad me.”
Saint Martin of Tours Baptized
After the vision of the cloak and the beggar, Saint Martin was baptized. He was eighteen years old at the time. Saint Martin served in the cavalry for two more years but refused to fight in a battle at Worms in 336 A.D. He told his superiors, “I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight.” Saint Martin was sent to prison for cowardice. Peace was restored to the land and Martin was released.
Saint Martin’s Cloak
Saint Martin devoted his life to converting pagans to Christianity. His cloak became a sacred relic for the kings of Frank. Saint Martin’s cloak was carried into battle during the Middle Ages and brought wherever the king went. In 679, Saint Martin’s cloak was placed in the palatium of Luzarches and at a later time given to the monks of Saint –Denis by Charlemagne.
Saint Martin de Tours Remembered
Devotion to Saint Martin de Tours was revived in 1860 when his tomb was discovered. His role in the military, made him very popular as a military saint, especially during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.
Today, many Christian wear a Saint Martin medal or a Saint Martin pendant in honor of this brave saint who served his country and his God. He was charitable to the poor, shared his own belongings with the needy, and completed his military duties while remaining true to Jesus Christ.