Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 St. Martin's Day - Remembrance Day 2011



Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
o God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin, by both by his life and his 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.

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SAINT MARTIN
Évêque de Tours
(316-397)

Saint Martin, né en Pannonie, suivit en Italie son père, qui était tribun militaire au service de Rome. Bien qu'élevé dans le paganisme, il en méprisait le culte, et comme s'il eût été naturellement chrétien, il ne se plaisait que dans l'assemblée des fidèles, où il se rendait souvent malgré l'opposition de sa famille.

Dès l'âge de quinze ans, il fut enrôlé de force dans les armées romaines, et alla servir dans les Gaules, pays prédestiné qu'il devait évangéliser un jour. Que deviendra cet enfant dans la licence des camps? Sa foi n'y va-t-elle pas sombrer? Non, car Dieu veille sur ce vase d'élection.

Le fait le plus célèbre de cette époque de sa vie, c'est la rencontre d'un pauvre grelottant de froid, presque nu, par un hiver rigoureux. Martin n'a pas une obole; mais il se rappelle la parole de l'Évangile: J'étais nu, et vous M'avez couvert. "Mon ami, dit-il, je n'ai que mes armes et mes vêtements." Et en même temps, taillant avec son épée son manteau en deux parts, il en donna une au mendiant.

La nuit suivante il vit en songe Jésus-Christ vêtu de cette moitié de manteau et disant à Ses Anges: "C'est Martin, encore simple catéchumène, qui M'a ainsi couvert." Peu de temps après il recevait le Baptême. Charité, désintéressement, pureté, bravoure, telle fut, en peu de mots, la vie de Martin sous les drapeaux. Il obtint son congé à l'âge d'environ vingt ans.

La Providence le conduisit bientôt près de saint Hilaire, évêque de Poitiers. Après avoir converti sa mère et donné des preuves éclatantes de son attachement à la foi de Nicée, il fonda près de Poitiers, le célèbre monastère de Ligugé, le premier des Gaules. L'éclat de sa sainteté et de ses miracles le fit élever sur le siège de Tours, malgré sa vive résistance. Sa vie ne fut plus qu'une suite de prodiges et de travaux apostoliques.

Sa puissance sur les démons était extraordinaire. Il porta à l'idolâtrie des coups dont elle ne se releva pas. Après avoir visité et renouvelé son diocèse, l'homme de Dieu se sentit pressé d'étendre au dehors ses courses et ses travaux.

Vêtu d'une pauvre tunique et d'un grossier manteau, assis sur un âne, accompagné de quelques religieux, le voilà qui part en pauvre missionnaire pour évangéliser les campagnes. Il parcourt presque toutes les provinces gauloises: ni les montagnes, ni les fleuves, ni les dangers d'aucune sorte ne l'arrêtent; partout sa marche est victorieuse, et il mérite par excellence le nom de Lumière et d'Apôtre des Gaules.

[Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.]


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Prayer for Remembrance Day







God of peace and love, on this 11th day of the 11th month we once again gather to remember. We remember that in Jesus of Nazareth you have called us to be people of peace saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers” and reminding us that we are to love our neighbour and our enemy as we love ourselves.

But we also acknowledge that there are times when we as a global community fail to live out those words, times when young men and women hear the call to don the uniforms of their country and serve under their flag.

Today we give thanks for all who have chosen to serve their country. We give thanks for their bravery, their commitment, and their love.

But we know that when armies meet on the field there are always some who don’t come home.

And so we pause in the memory of those who went and did not return to mothers and wives and children left behind.

We remember battles at Ypres, and Passchendale, and Vimy Ridge in the war we were told would end all wars, battles where the blood of enemies mingled in the mud and water of France and Belgium.







And we remember those who fell in the war that came a scarce generation later. And again young men died in places like Hong Kong, and Ortona, and Dieppe, and Juno Beach, and in the Netherlands.

We remember all who fell and were buried far from home, or who sank to a watery grave in the cold Atlantic.

Then as the years past the roles changed and we sent our best to help keep the peace in places like Cyprus, and the Golan Heights, and Cambodia. And still some died and were buried.

And now, in these last years we find that our young have returned to the battlefield, only to have 158 of them return in a coffin carried solemnly to a waiting aircraft.

God, whose hope for the world is peace, on this day we not only remember the fallen of Canada who lie buried under a military tombstone. We remember also the fallen of Germany, and Japan, and France, and Australia. Or Italians, and native Afghanis, and English.

This day we honour all who die as a result of humanity’s common failing to live in the peace you have hoped for all these millennia.

God, we pray too for those who returned from battle forever changed by what they had seen. For those who bore, and still bear, wounds of body and soul. In particular we remember those who have died since the last Remembrance Day.

And now, God of love, as we have remembered and honoured, we prepare to go back into our everyday lives. May the remembering we have done here today reawaken and strengthen our commitment to work for peace, true peace.

Help us to remember that peace will never truly come from a gun barrel but from the depths of our hearts. Help us remember our calling to be peacemakers at home and abroad, in the big things and in the small. And may we never forget the cost that has already been paid.

God of peace that surpasses all understanding, we pray our remembrances and our hopes in the name of Christ, the Prince of Peace, who taught his friends to pray by saying together:

Our Father, who art in heaven…

[adapted from www.worshipofferings.blogspot.com, posted by Gord, January 2008]

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