Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, bishop
(Titus 2:1-8.11-14; Luke 17:7-10)
The Letter to Titus today tells its readers to reject the ways of the world so that they may live holy lives. Today’s patron saint gives us good example.
Martin of Tours was born in what is now Hungary. He became a soldier like his father although it is said that he was inducted into the army against his will. He served in France where he had a vision of Christ after helping a beggar. The vision moved Martin to join the Church and eventually to withdraw from the army. Later Martin again showed his distaste for killing when he tried to intervene in the state execution of a heretic.
Today, both the Feast of St. Martin and Veterans’ Day, calls for Christian reflection on the military. Soldiers perform a Christian service when they defend their nations from foreign aggressors. They are not to take advantage of their strength or their weapons to oppress people. Rather, they like Martin are to live as the Letter to Titus dictates: temperately, justly, and devoutly…”