The Charity of St. Martin by jean Fouquet © Louvre /Source: wikipedia

St Martin – Ascetic, Bishop, Man of Miracles, National Saint, Soldier of Christ, and Charitable Helper

Read the stories about St Martin of Tours, one of the most popular saints in medieval and modern Europe

During his lifetime, St Martin was called upon as a venerable ascetic and bishop. Later, in the 6thcentury, he was turned into a local saint of Tours. Notwithstanding the primary identification of St Martin as a monk and not a soldier, he was soon recruited as a missionary and heroic saint, with whom warriors and soldiers might readily identify. As such he moved effortlessly through the missionary landscapes of the fringes of Europe – at first Gothic Italy and Frankish Gaul, later Anglo-Saxon England, Scandinavia and further into the Baltic Sea. Finally, in 10th century St Martin was officially posited as the prototype of a Christian knight. At the same time, however, he was deftly turned into a popular saint and protector of the poor. It is as such we know of him today.

St Martin of Tours may have started out as a career officer in the Roman Army. In the course of the next 1500 years, he was continuously recruited to play a panoply of different roles. As such, he has been a powerful prism of shifting times. In the end, though his role as a soldier was never entirely forgotten. It was no coincidence when the ceasefire was finally set on Armistice Day in 1918. After four years of untold suffering and wantonness, it was decided to be called at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, honouring the first conscientious objector of all times, Martin of Tours


The Charity of St. Martin by Jean Fouquet © Louvre /Source: wikipedia


Martin of Tours – a Man of all Times

Martin of Tour in the 4thcentury – Roman Soldier, Ascetic Athlete, and Reluctant Bishop

Martin of Tours in the 6thcentury – from Ascetic Saint to Local Miracle Worker

The European Fame of St Martin of Tours – from National Frankish Hero to Christian Knight

St. Martin – a Popular Saint


How to Cook a Medieval Goose

The City of Tours

St. Martin in Moissac – the Oldest Church in France


Cover Communities of St Martin by Sharon Farmer              The old English lives of St Martin of Tours. Edition and study Mertens, Andre. - Göttingen (2017) Cover