Dr Taylor Marshall
Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. In other countries, the day is celebrated as Armistice Day. It recalls the ending of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.
However, there is a deeper, Catholic meaning to November 11. This day is the feast of Saint Martin (c. 316 – 397) – that godly hermit and bishop who had once been a soldier. Martin laid down the sword in order to live a life of peace and penance under the gentle yoke of Jesus Christ. St Martin is Europe’s chief example of the transition from soldier to saint; from war to peace.
Traditionally, November 11 had previously served as a day of signing peace treaties in honor of Saint Martin. Thus, it was fitting to end Europe’s Great War on this same day – the festival of Saint Martin of Tours.
So there’s a little Catholic history for you to share at the water-cooler or at your next cocktail party. Saint Martin is the ultimate veteran – a veteran from Christ.
Saint Martin, patron of peace, pray for us.(http://taylormarshall.com/2011/11/origin-of-veterans-day-with-st-martin.html)
And let us pray for all veterans living, serving, and who've gone before us, may they rest in peace.
St Martin is the patron of soldiers, horses, alcoholics, poverty, beggars, equestrians, geese, vintners, cavalry, among others...
An excerpt from a letter of Sulpicius Severus on St Martin
Here was a man words cannot describe. Death could not defeat him nor toil dismay him. He was quite without a preference of his own; he neither feared to die nor refused to live. With eyes and hands always raised to heaven he never withdrew his unconquered spirit from prayer. It happened that some priests who had gathered at his bedside suggested that he should give his poor body some relief by lying on his other side. He answered: “Allow me, brothers, to look toward heaven rather than at the earth, so that my spirit may set on the right course when the time comes for me to go on my journey to the Lord.” As he spoke these words, he saw the devil standing near. “Why do you stand there, you bloodthirsty brute?” he cried. “Murderer, you will not have me for your prey. Abraham is welcoming me into his embrace.”
With these words, he gave up his spirit to heaven. Filled with joy, Martin was welcomed by Abraham. Thus he left this life a poor and lowly man and entered heaven rich in God’s favor.
O 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.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
(I've got this one in my living room ;)