Pope Offers Martin of Tours as Model

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2009 (Zenit.org).- In his traditional greeting to the sick, youth and newlyweds, Benedict XVI today pointed to the example of charity given by St. Martin of Tours.

The Church celebrates the feast of the fourth-century saint today. 

Legend has it that while still a catechumen and serving in the Roman army, Martin one cold winter day encountered a half-naked beggar. Using his sword, he divided his cloak in two parts and gave one to the beggar. That night, Martin dreamed he saw Christ wearing the half mantle he had given the poor man.

The Holy Father recalled the saint at the end of the general audience in Paul VI Hall.

“Dear young people,” he said, “[…] consider the example of St. Martin whose feast we celebrate today, as a model of generous evangelical witness. Beloved sick people, trust in the Lord, that he will not abandon you in in this time of difficulty. And you, beloved newlyweds, animated by the faith that distinguished St. Martin, always respect and serve life, which is a gift from God.”

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