Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny
          November 11 ... St. Martin of Tours

November 11 ... St. Martin of Tours

We pray especially to the patron Saints of the Congregation : St. Teresa, St. Martin, St. Francis Xavier and St. Peter Claver. We learn from them to unite intimacy with Christ and courageous zeal in the service of the mission. (General Chapter Ordinances, 2000)

St. Martin of Tours

During the 18th and early 19th century, Martin was a very popular saint in France, especially in Burgundy where Anne-Marie Javouhey was born, probably because he was the patron of wine growers as well as soldiers.

Born in Hungary in 316 to pagan parents, he was conscripted in the army because his father was an army officer. He later became a Christian and a conscientious objector. The charges brought against him were eventually dropped and Martin was free to become a monk.

In 360 he settled in Gaul (France) and was soon joined by disciples. Together, they founded the first monastery in Gaul. In 371 the people proclaimed Martin Bishop of Tours. He served as a bishop and converted many pagans to the faith. He died in 397.

The biography of Martin written by his friend, Sulpicius Severus, relates the many good works and wondrous deeds that made him such a popular saint. In art, he is usually shown on horseback, handing his cloak to a poor man.

Anne-Marie Javouhey saw in this saint, both a model for evangelization and a protector as she began working to save the faith from the destructive influences of the French Revolution. The fact that she was baptized on November 11, the day the Church celebrates his life, made him all the more significant to her.

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