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MEMORIAL OF SAINT MARTIN OF TOURS, BISHOP, NOVEMBER 11, 2021



A Reading from Is 61:1-3abcd


The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,

because the LORD has anointed me;

He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,

to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives

and release to the prisoners,

To announce a year of favor from the LORD

and a day of vindication by our God,

to comfort all who mourn;

To place on those who mourn in Zion

a diadem instead of ashes,

To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning,

a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.


REFLECTION:

He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners


St. Martin was a Christian Roman soldier. He served for many years in a cavalry unit in France. Eventually, though, he said to his commander, “I have served you as a soldier; now let me serve Christ.” He remained a soldier for the next 3-5 years (depending on the source) but ultimately got his wish. This saint, who started service as a soldier, ultimately became a Bishop. He served God in both capacities.


The fact that Germany laid down its arms on a day in the Church’s calendar that celebrates a saint who laid down his arms, choosing a life of peace rather than war, may seem like a remarkable coincidence. But the armistice timing was chosen deliberately — scheduled for the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For centuries, St. Martin’s Day (also known as Martinmas) had marked a time of new beginnings in Europe — a new school term, the first day of rental agreements, and the date when debts were paid. What better day to mark a new beginning of peace?


In this feast day we also celebrate our military veterans in the United States. An all around the world there are many stories of holy priests that have served our soldiers during the most harrowing times of military conflicts: Fr. Emil Kapaun, Fr. Joseph Verbis Lafleur, Fr. Vincent Robert Capodanno, Fr. John P. Washington, Fr. Giovanni Nadiani, Fr. Michał Sopoćko, Fr. Rupert Mayer, Fr. Wladyslaw Miegon, Fr. Pedro Largo Redondo, Fr. Frédéric Janssone, St. Lawrence of Brindisi amongts many others around the world.


In the United States, those priests that wish to serve our military men and women can join a special Archdiocese, The Archdiocese for the Military Services. This was created by Pope Saint John Paul II to provide the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces all over the world. Numerically, the AMS is responsible for more than 1.8 million men, women, and children in 220 installations in 29 countries, patients in 153 V.A. Medical Centers, and federal employees serving outside the boundaries of the USA in 134 countries.


If you happen to visit any military chapel between now and December 10th, you can gain a plenary indulgence. Here is why: 2020 marked the hundredth anniversary of the declaration of Our Lady of Loreto as the Patroness of all who travel by air. In commemoration of this, Pope Francis granted a plenary indulgence to all who visit that Shrine in pilgrimage. At Archbishop Broglio's request, given that all six branches of the US military fly, the indulgence was also extended to all of the chapels of the US military. In his Christmas 2020 message, Archbishop announced that this special opportunity has been extended until 10 December 2021.


Let us pray for our military, specially their leadership, so they can find ways to end conflicts peacefully and for the good of all humanity.


God bless y'all!


Source: Aleteia

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