Saint Martin lived in the 4th century. He was a soldier in the Roman army. Once, he gave his cloak to a beggar, and Christ appeared to Martin in a dream, wearing the cloak. He was baptized soon afterwards, but remained in the army—reluctantly, but he was obligated because his father was an officer. He kept the Cross as his shield, and stood against enemies unarmed.
Martin was allowed to leave the army and took up a monastic way of life. He was elected Bishop of Tours in 371, and continued his monastic lifestyle, giving generously to the poor. He fell asleep on November 8, 397. His feast, called Martinmas in the West, is celebrated on November 11, or in some places, on November 12.
In this 15th century icon, St. Martin is depicted as a young soldier, giving his cloak to the beggar.
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