About CPF Get Involved FAQ Resources Links Donate
St. Martin of ToursPrintable Version

November 11

St. Martin of Tours

November 11th, commonly known in the United States as Veterans Day, is the feast day of Martin of Tours, venerated by Catholics as the patron saint of conscientious objectors. He was born in what is now Hungary in 316, the son of an officer in the Roman army.

He soon felt called to the life of Christ and became a catechumen in his early teens. He joined the Roman imperial army at age 15. Trying to live his faith, Martin refused to let his servant to wait on him. Once, while on horseback in Amiens in Gaul (modern France), he encountered a beggar. Having nothing to give but the clothes on his back, he cut his heavy officer's cloak in half, and gave it to the beggar. Later he had a vision of Christ wearing the cloak.

St. Martin was baptized into the Church at age 18. Soon after, he felt that military service and Christianity were incompatible. Just before a battle, he announced that his faith prohibited him from fighting. Charged with cowardice, he was jailed. Later, the invaders sued for peace, and the battle never occurred. Martin was released from military service.

St. Martin became a disciple of St Hilary of Poitiers and was baptized. From 360 onwards, Martin devoted himself to the monastic life; indeed, he is regarded as the virtual founder of Western monasticism. His houses were firstly at Ligug near Poitiers. In 372 he was elected Bishop of Tours by popular acclaim and his foundation at Marmoutier became a thriving monastery. In an age when Christianity was largely confined to towns, Martin saw monasteries as a way of promoting rural evangelization based on spiritual centers. He himself was a most assiduous bishop, visiting his flock and defending doctrine. He died on November 8th, 397.

His great popularity as a saint was promoted largely by the biography of him, written by his friend Sulpicius Severus. In England, 'Martinmas' was a key time of the year; it was the time for hiring new servants and for beginning to salt meat to last through the winter.


Site Search:
Support CPF
Help raise a mighty league of conscientious objectors! Our resources are few, but with your help, CPF can keep reaching out to soldiers and students, sharing the Church's tradition of peace. And just think how much is being spent to "share" the tradition of war... A LOT.
CPF Facebook Page

"We Go On Record"
Our online community of conscience: post and read statements of conscientious objection. (Temporarily down and Under Construction)

Soldiers & Vets
Soldiers: You have the right to refuse participation in war! What is conscientious objection and how can you apply?
Church Teaching
For two thousand years, the Church has confronted issues of war and peace. What has it said, and what about now?
The Sign of Peace

The Sign of Peace journal brings a theological and scholarly look to matters of war and peace.

The CPF currently has three new issues of The Sign of Peace in the works. Please give today to help bring these issues to press! We are working to have a new issue out before the conclusion of 2012.

The Spring 2010 issue was on "Mennonites, Catholics, and the Peace of Christ"

Click here for subscription information.

Jägerstätter Resources

Home Contact Us