Feast of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
Psalm 88:2-3, 4-5, 21-22, 25, 27
Matthew 25: 31-40
Today’s gospel, focusing on judgment and on the arrival of the Bridegroom-King in glory with all his angels, is perfectly adapted to the eschatological impetus given to the liturgy between November 1st and the First Sunday of Advent. In other parts of the Catholic world, a six-week Advent begins on the Sunday following the feast of Saint Martin. This is the tradition of the Church of Milan, for example. The arrival of Martin the soldier announces the arrival of Christ, the true King, the Lord of glory.
Saint Martin of Tours was the first non-martyr to be honoured with a liturgical cult, the first of a long line of “confessors” to make their way into the Church’s calendar. “Though he did not die a martyr’s death, sings the Magnificat Antiphon, this holy confessor won the martyr’s palm.” The hymn Iste Confessor was composed for the feast of Saint Martin. Holy Father Benedict himself dedicated a chapel to Saint Martin at Monte Cassino. Franciscan