Martin of Tours, Saint

Martin of Tours, Saint

biographical name

(born c. 316, Sabaria, Pannonia—died Nov. 8, 397, Candes, Gaul; Western feast day, November 11; Eastern feast day November 12) Patron saint of France. Born a pagan, he converted to Christianity at age 10. He was forced to join the Roman army but asked to be released because service was incompatible with his Christianity. After imprisonment he settled in Poitiers and then became a missionary on the Balkan Peninsula. He returned to Poitiers in 360 and founded the first monastery in Gaul. In 371 he was made bishop of Tours. A second monastery he founded, at Mormoutier, became a great monastic complex. St. Martin was known as a miracle worker in his own lifetime and was one of the first venerated saints who was not a martyr.

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