Gospel Reflection Friday (11 November) – 32nd week Ordinary Time – St Martin of Tours
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (17: 26-37) in which Jesus says, ‘anyone who tries to preserve their life will lose it, and anyone who loses their life will keep it safe’. After reading the Gospel Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Martin of Tours whose memorial we celebrate today.
Fr Paul notes St Martin was born in the Roman province of Pannonia about the year 316 and was educated at Pavia in Italy. He was baptized, left the army and after spending some time as a hermit on an island off the Ligurian coast, he founded a monastery in western France, where he lived a monastic life guided by St Hilary.
Later he was ordained priest and became bishop of Tours. In his actions he gave an example of what a good shepherd should be. He founded other monasteries, educated the clergy, and preached the Gospel to the poor. He died in the year 397.
A famous story about St Martin is that while he was a soldier in Amiens he gave half of his military cloak to a beggar and later had a dream in which the beggar revealed himself as Christ.
So today Fr Paul invites us to ask, ‘St Martin, Pray for us!’
Fr Paul’s Footnote: St Martin was a soldier and the famous story just shared tells us that he was a soldier at Amiens in France. Amiens is only 16 kilometres from Villers-Bretonneux where many Australians rest in peace at the military cemetery there. Today is Remembrance Day…at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month we might pause and remember. Lest we forget.