November 10, 2017

Saint Martin of Tours and His Visions of the Devil

St. Martin of Tours

Saint Martin of Tours possessed the gift of discerning spirits. Once the devil appeared to him radiant and clothed in royal apparel, and spoke as if he were Christ. Martin, recognizing the deceit, replied, "The Lord Jesus Christ never prophesied that He would come in purple robes and royal crown." The demonic apparition immediately disappeared. Three dead persons he raised to life. While celebrating holy Mass a luminous sphere appeared over the future saint's head.

He was far advanced in age when he fell into a grievous fever during a visitation at Candes, an outlying parish of his diocese. Unceasingly he begged God to release him from this mortal prison. His disciples, however, implored him with tears, "Father, why are you leaving us? To whom will you entrust the care of your disconsolate children?" Deeply moved, Martin turned to God: "Lord, if I am still necessary for Your people, I will not refuse the labor. Your will be done!"

When the bystanders saw that despite his great fever he remained lying on his back, they besought him to change position to alleviate somewhat the pain. But Martin answered, "Brothers, rather let me look toward heaven than to earth so that my soul in its journey home may take a direct flight to the Lord." Shortly before death he saw the evil spirit. "What do you want, horrible beast? You will find nothing in me that's yours!" With those words the aged saint breathed forth his soul and was born into eternal life on November 11, 397, at the age of 81.

Almighty God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin both by his life and death, make new, we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that neither death nor life may separate us from your love and eternal salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. St. Martin of Tours, soldier for Christ, intercede for us.

Adapted excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Father Pius Parsch.

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