Martin, Bishop of Tours

11 November -- Lesser Festival -- Bishop -- White

Born in about the year 316 in Pannonia (in modern-day Hungary), Martin was a soldier in the Roman army and a Christian. He found the two rôles conflicted and, under the influence of Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, he founded a monastery in Hilary's diocese in the year 360, the first such foundation in Gaul. The religious house was a centre for missionary work in the local countryside, setting a new example where, previously, all Christian activity had been centred in cities and undertaken from the cathedral there. In 372, Martin was elected Bishop of Tours by popular acclaim and he continued his monastic lifestyle as a bishop, remaining in that ministry until his death on this day in the year 397.


God all powerful,
who called Martin from the armies of this world
to be a faithful soldier of Christ:
give us grace to follow him
in his love and compassion for the needy,
and enable your Church to claim for all people
their inheritance as children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the book Deuteronomy.

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbour. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbour in your land."

This is the word of the Lord.         Deuteronomy 15. 7-8, 10-11

Responsorial Psalm

RLight shines in the darkness for the upright;
[the righteous are merciful and full of compassion].
Happy are they who fear the Lord
and have great delight in his commandments!
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed. R

Wealth and riches will be in their house,
and their righteousness will last for ever.
It is good for them to be generous in lending
and to manage their affairs with justice. R

For they will never be shaken;
the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.
They will not be afraid of any evil rumours;
their heart is right; they put their trust in the Lord. R

Their heart is established and will not shrink,
they have given freely to the poor,
and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
they will hold up their head with honour. R         From Psalm 112

A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.

So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

This is the word of the Lord.         1 Thessalonians 5. 1-11

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

The king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."

Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?" And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."

This is the gospel of Christ.         Matthew 25. 34-40

Post Communion

God, shepherd of your people,
whose servant Martin revealed the loving service of Christ
   in his ministry as a pastor of your people:
by this eucharist in which we share
awaken within us the love of Christ
and keep us faithful to our Christian calling;
through him who laid down his life for us,
but is alive and reigns with you, now and for ever.