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Rebuking a cruel beast - 397

Martin of Tours dividing his coat with an indigent man.


According to tradition, St. Martin of Tours was over eighty years of age when he took a trip to end a squabble at Cande (in modern-day France). Having settled the matter, he was seized by a fever. His disciples pleaded with him not to die and Martin prayed, “Lord, if I am still necessary to thy people, I refuse no labor. Thy holy will be done.” Despite his illness, he lay in ashes, praying continuously with his eyes on heaven, and when his disciples pleaded to be allowed to move him onto straw, Martin replied “It becomes not a Christian to die otherwise than upon ashes. I shall have sinned if I leave you any other example.” The end came on this day, 8 November c. 397. As he was dying he saw the devil near him and said: 


“What are you doing here, cruel beast? You will find nothing in me. Abraham’s bosom is open to receive me.”


Butler, Alban. Lives of the Saints.

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