Martin of Tours was Bishop of Tours, whose shrine in France became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Around his name much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognisable Christian saints. As he was born in what is now Szombathely,Hungary, spent much of his childhood in Pavia, Italy, and lived most of his adult life in France, he is considered a spiritual bridge across Europe.
His life was recorded by a contemporary, the hagiographer Sulpicius Severus. Some of the accounts of his travels may have been interpolated into his vita to validate early sites of his cult. He is best known for the account of his using his military sword to cut his cloak in two, to give half to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter. Conscripted as a soldier into the Roman army, he found the duty incompatible with the Christian faith he had adopted and became an early conscientious objector.
St. Martin is the patron saint of beggars (because of his sharing his cloak), wool-weavers and tailors (also because of his cloak), soldiers (or some emphasise infantrymen, although how either is reconciled with his having become a conscientious objector is unexplained), geese (some say because they gave his hiding place away when he tried to avoid being chosen as bishop, others because their migration coincides with his feast), vintners and innkeepers (because his feast falls just after the late grape harvest), and France.
Information for Saint Martin was obtained from Wikipedia.
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