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saintmartinpainting

St. Martin of Tours is the Saint after whom St. Martin CSA was named. The life of this saint seemed to relate so well to the work of the organisation that it became an obvious choice.

Martin of Tours was a soldier. After his conversion when he was called up, he refused to go into the battle. He was challenged by Julius Caesar and accused of cowardice, but Martin replied that he was ready to go to the frontline, only armed with the cross of Christ. During his whole lifetime, Martin remained a great promoter of peace and a non-violent lifestyle. Even after he had become Bishop he was called all over Europe to reconcile warring parties and to build peace. His actions remain an inspiration to our work in the field of Active Non-Violence and Human Rights.

The event in Martin's life that is most famous is his encounter with the poor man during a very cold day in the wintertime. The man was almost naked and was begging along the road. Martin was struck by the suffering of this poor man and on the spot cut his long mantle into two pieces and gave one half to the beggar to cover him. That same night, Martin saw in his dream Jesus, now dressed in the part of the mantel, which he had given to the poor man. This dream became a turning point in the life of Martin. He came to the understanding that he could meet Jesus in his needy brothers and sisters. From that time onwards Martin dedicated his life to the poor and neglected people.

 

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