Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Soldier's Saint

November 11, Veterans Day, appropriately enough is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. When he was a young man Martin, son of a Roman tribune, served as a soldier in the Roman army. A famous story recounts him seeing a beggar shivering in the cold by the roadside. Feeling compassion, Martin cut his soldier's cloak in two pieces, giving one half to the needy man.

The following night, the story continues, Martin had a dream of Jesus Christ standing clothed in the half cloak he had given to the beggar. Our Lord asked Martin if he recognized it, and then said to the angels attending him "Martin...has covered me with his cloak."

Very soon after, Martin was baptized a Christian. He is the patron saint of many places and vocations. No doubt due to the dramatic and inspiring cut cloak story, St. Martin of Tours is patron of tailors. He is also named as one of the many patron saints of soldiers.