FEAST OF SAINT MARTIN/VETERANS DAY
This is the beginning of Paul’s letter to Corinthian’s and this is the start of the greeting from Paul in which he tells us that by the sacrifice of Christ we now are the recipients of God’s grace and peace. We are all called to be saints and as such we are christened to have the character of Christ. There should be no divisions, immorality and pride with us which leads us to mortal sin and separation from God. Part of the churches mission besides evangelizing is to correct errors in faith and behavior. The goal of the church leaders is that none should die in the state of mortal sin. This is Christ’s wish for us.
MARTIN was born in the year 316 in Pannonia, or Hungary, of pagan parents, but he received secret instructions in the Christian religion, and in his tenth year was received into the number of the catechumens, that is, of those who are preparing themselves to receive holy Baptism. At the age of fifteen he became a soldier, being, as is probable, forced to do so by his father, to whom the religion of the boy had become known. Out of love of God he not only kept himself aloof from the excesses so common in this state of life, but he took advantage of it to practice love for man, by dividing his pay among the poor. Being one day solicited for alms by a beggar, and having nothing but his arms and his cloak, he gave him half his cloak. The following night Christ appeared to him, wearing that half of the cloak, and said to him: Martin, who is yet a catechumen, has clothed Me with this garment. Moved by this comforting apparition, he received holy Baptism, gave up the life of a soldier, and betook himself to St. Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, in France. As he was careful about his own salvation, so also was he careful of the salvation of others, particularly of his parents and relatives, for the sake of whose conversion he undertook a journey to his native land. On his return he built, not far from Poitiers, the first convent in France, into which he received twenty-four monks, with whom he led a strict and virtuous life. His great faith made him like the apostles in regard to miracles, and the fame thereof spread abroad to that degree that, in spite of his refusals, he was chosen Bishop of Tours. This high dignity made no change in his manner of living; rather it increased his humility, his patience under the greatest persecutions, his zeal for the glory of God, his love for his neighbor, and particularly for his enemies. After he had in such manner ruled over his diocese for twenty-six years, being then over eighty years old, the strength of life left him. He thereupon collected his disciples about him, and said: Children, I am dying. They wept and mourned. Moved by their tears, he in his prayers professed himself willing to labor longer if it were God's will. But he had labored for heaven enough, and God desired to place upon him the long-merited crown. With his eyes raised to heaven, he prayed incessantly, allowing himself no relief. At his last moments the enemy sought to confound him by a horrible apparition, but, full of confidence in God, the saint cried out: What do you seek, cruel monster? In me you will find nothing that is yours; and soon after his spirit gently sank to rest. Would that we might learn from this saint truly to love God, and to care not only for our own salvation, but for the welfare of our fellow men in body and soul! Then we, too, might have nothing to fear in death.
O God, Who seest that we cannot subsist by any strength of our own, mercifully grant that by the intercession of blessed Martin, Thy confessor and bishop, we may be protected against all adversity.
EPISTLE. Ecclus. xliv., xlv.
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God and was found just, and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore, by an oath the Lord gave him glory in his posterity. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in his blessings, He preserved for him His mercy: and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood, and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise in His name, and to offer Him due incense for an odor of sweetness.
GOSPEL. Luke xi. 33-36.
At that time Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews: No man lighteth a candle, and putteth it in a hidden place, nor under a bushel: but upon a candlestick, that they that come in may see the light. The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome: but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If then thy whole body be lightsome, having no part of darkness, the whole shall be lightsome, and as a bright lamp shall enlighten thee.
What does this gospel teach us?
1. The same that it once taught the Jews: thus, Jesus is always the light of the world, and He has not left Himself without witness that He is so. This light is ever shining upon the world in His doctrines, His life, His acts, in His Church and in the mysteries of grace laid up therein, in the growth and preservation of that Church, and in the miracles which to this hour continue to be wrought within it. Hence, if we do not know Him, if we do not obey and reverence His Church, it is but blindness and obduracy on our part; there is wanting to us a pure, sincere mind, that loves only the truth. This gospel accordingly admonishes us:
2. That we should acquire such a mind; for, says Jesus, as a sound, clear eye keeps the whole body always in the right direction, and guides it in all its movements, while an eye that is awry, or otherwise defective, causes the body to fall, in like manner a heart that is pure and always turned towards God gives the right direction to our thoughts, wishes, and actions, and causes us to see the light of truth, whereas a heart fixed upon the various goods of the world, but blinded to God, fills our thoughts, wishes, and actions with corruption and sin. How great in that case must be the darkness, the depravity, the misery!
3. This gospel contains the emblem of that which, all superiors, masters, heads of families, parents and particularly priests should be, namely, lights, like Jesus Himself. For this they are set upon the candlestick. They are, accordingly, to give light by their teaching and life, by their avoidance of scandals; of that which every Christian should be a light, by his faith, his good works. Finally, of the temper with which the faithful and all inferiors should meet those who are set over them, with believing and trusting minds.
Prayer to St. Martin,
O St. Martin, precious heart of the priesthood, loving father of the poor, bright example of the religious, who, out of zeal for the glory of God, couldst neither be overcome by labor nor by death itself, at whose departure hence the angels therefore rejoiced, I implore thee, through thy powerful intercession, to obtain for me a heart full of compassion for the needy, for the apostolic pastors of the Church, true zeal, and for all, on the bed of death, the grace by which, after this life of misery, we may together enter into that joy of the Lord which thou, as a good and faithful servant, already possessest.
In honor of St. Martin today would be a good day to go through our closets and cut our cloaks in half to donate to the poor. While serving in Germany myself I have a fond memory of St. Martin Day in which my children participated in the nighttime St. Martins Day Parade in the small town of Gersbach, Germany. On St. Martin's Day, children in Flanders, the southern and north-western parts of the Netherlands, and the Catholic areas of Germany and Austria still participate in paper lantern processions. Often, a man dressed as St. Martin rides on a horse in front of the procession. The children sing songs about St. Martin and about their lanterns. The food traditionally eaten on the day is goose, a rich bird. According to legend, Martin was reluctant to become bishop, which is why he hid in a stable filled with geese. The noise made by the geese betrayed his location to the people who were looking for him.
Things to do
- Recite the Iste Confessor in honor of St. Martin.
- Cook a special dinner of roast goose or duck in honor of St. Martin. Bake some horseshoe cookies.
- In Europe this day is traditionally known as Martinmas. Many foods and traditions are connected with this day. See also Women for Faith and Family for more Catholic traditions.
- St. Martin is patron saint of wine growers, wine makers and vintners. In France, the tasting of the new wine is done today. Have a Martinmas gathering, serving this year's Noveau Beaujolais wine from France.
- Read Painting Angels, Saints and Their Symbols for a discussion about St. Martin's symbols in art.
- For more biographies and other information on St. Martin, read Patron Saints Index.
- See the Life of St Martin as depicted in the stained glass of Chartres Cathedral (c.1220) here.
- The children will enjoy this dessert St. Martin's Horseshoes and you can learn more about customs for this feast.
Today is Veterans Day let us remember to pray today for both our military and veterans. Also ask today's Holy Saint Martin of Tours to intercede for our military and veterans who have born the yoke of service to this nation.
Veterans Day seeks to honor and give thanks to all the men
and women who have served and are serving in the US Armed Forces.
Ceremonies are held across the country at Veterans Hospitals, cemeteries,
and National Monuments. At 11:00 a.m. EST, the Veterans Day National
Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery. At this ceremony the
President of the United States, or his assigned ambassador, places a wreath on
the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Veterans Day is observed on November
11th each year. Today is also the start of the Fasching
season in Germany which begins on 11/11 at the 11th hour and at
the 11th second.
Veterans Day Facts & Quotes
· In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a proclamation urging the nation to support the Veterans Day effort in any way possible.
· During World War II, over 16 million men and women served in the military. The war resulted in over 400,000 deaths.
· The War of Global Terrorism, encompassing October 7, 2001 to May 29, 2012, has seen 54,820 casualties of which 6,456 resulted in death.
· This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. - Elmer Davis
Veterans Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Volunteer at a local VA facility.
· Thank everyone you know who has served in the armed forces.
· Take flowers to the grave sites of deceased military personnel.
· Invite local veterans to a special luncheon in their honor.
· Make a donation of time or money to a local Veterans organization.
Remember we are all in a battle with the forces of evil that seek the destruction of ourselves and our prosperity
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus