From the Pastor – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time – A November 5, 2017

From the Pastor


31st Sunday

in Ordinary Time – A


November 5, 2017



Centuries before the end of WWI, November 11 [now known as Armistice Day
{the 11th hour of the
11th day
of the 11th month
} and Veteran’s Day] was the day the Church honored the patron saint of, among other things, a soldier: the warrior turned monk turned Bishop: Saint Martin of Tours. Born in 316 in Hungary, Martin
was conscripted into the Roman army and deployed to Gaul [France]; he died on November 8, 397 and was buried on what is now his Feast Day, November 11, not in his Cathedral’s crypt, but – by his own request – in the Cemetery of the Poor. His relics were moved to the Tours basilica named for him; it was a popular pilgrimage site until 1562 when militant Protestants destroyed it. Ironically, the father of Protestantism, Martin Luther was baptized on Saint Martin’s feast day and was named after him. During the basilica’s reconstruction in 1860, small fragments of his tomb were found, and his relics are reverenced there to this day. Here are his orations and the rest of his story.


Collect – Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop


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 … and ever. Amen.


As he rode his horse to Amiens, [he’s the patron saint of horses] he passed a naked beggar; he cut his military cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. The word for ‘little cloak’ is capella – from which we get the English word chaplain – which is used for clergy who ‘share themselves’ and attend to the spiritual needs of those in the military, hospitals, prisons, etc. Capella also gives us the word we use for little places reserved for religious services: chapel. In honor of Saint Martin of Tours, we should all consider ways to share whatever we have, and whatever we can do, to help the poor or needy, frightened or sick, imprisoned or lonely. By serving God in such people, we, too, can hope to inherit heaven!

Prayer over the Offerings – Saint Martin of Tours


Sanctify these offerings, we pray, Lord God,

which we joyfully present in honor of

Saint Martin, so that through them our life

may always be directed

whether in tribulation or in prosperity.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


By age 20, Saint Martin was tired of fighting; in fact, he is the first documented conscientious objector
and is their patron saint. After leaving military life, he sought solace in a hermitage, living as a monk. However, his leadership skills and keen awareness of a main theological issue of his day: Arianism, which denied Christ’s full divinity, were well known. This led to his being ‘acclaimed’ Bishop, as it was done back then, but he refused! So he hid in a barn from those who ‘acclaimed’ him a Bishop, but was ‘outed’ by a flock of gaggling geese. [He is also the patron saint of geese!] This may all sound so silly, but don’t we also flee from God’s call to serve in His Church? When an opportunity arises for you to use your skills and abilities to promote the Gospel, don’t be a … silly goose!


Prayer after Communion – Saint Martin of Tours


Grant to us who have been restored by this Sacrament of unity, O Lord, perfect harmony with your will in all things, that, just as

Saint Martin submitted himself entirely to you,

so we, too, may glory in being truly yours.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


is credited with starting the custom of a Bishop regularly visiting each Parish in his Diocese, to assure orthodoxy and proper practices. These days, Bishops need not be as physically present to maintain these things; diocesan offices and policies help keep us ‘Catholic.’ Do you support – and use – all our Diocese offers to keep us up-to-date with current theology and liturgical norms, and to see that our Catechists and all who minister in the Church are certified and officially mandated? Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us!


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS