St Martin

(d. 397) French bishop (Bishop of Tours from 371), a patron saint of France

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(d. 397),

Bp. of Tours and a patron saint of France. He was born of pagan parents in Hungary, either c.315 or c.336. Forced to adopt his father's profession of soldiering, he gave half his cloak to a naked beggar in Amiens. A subsequent vision of Christ led him to seek Baptism at the age of eighteen, though he remained in the Roman army until 356. In 360 he joined Hilary of Poitiers and founded the monastery of Ligugé. Elected Bp. of Tours c.371, he continued to practise and promote monasticism and was active in evangelizing the countryside. Priscillian's condemnation by a secular court led him to denounce secular interference in Church matters. Feast day in the W., 11 Nov.; in the E., 12 Nov.

Subjects: Christianity.

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