Thursday, November 11, 2010

Saint Martin's Day - Again!

It should be clear to anyone reading this blog that I have a devotion to Saint Martin of Tours. But then I am an American and his feast days fall upon two major American holidays, his translation on Independence Day and the celebration of his celestial birthday on Veteran's Day. Somehow, in my own mind that makes him an almost essential American saint although he was born in what is now Hungary and died in what is now France.

Not only do I think of him as being uniquely American, but also as being quite a representative of classical Anglicanism. After all, his fame and possibly some of his relics were carried to the British Isles well before it interested the Roman Church. St Ninian of Scotland was a disciple of his and dedicated his major missionary church to him and it was in a church dedicated to St Martin in Canterbury, that the first Roman mission set up practice. In short, his cult was carried to the British well before they fell victims to the papacy.

Since the 1928 American prayer book has no calendar of black letter holy days although it does have liturgical provision for "A Saint's Day," those of us in the Continuum who reject the pseudo-papalism of the missals must look to the calendars of the English and Scots' prayer books with perhaps a nod to that of the Welsh Church with its richness of Celtic and early British saints. We can also look to their revisions of the 28/29 period for propers appropriate to these days as being well within the prayer book and Anglican tradition. We could, of course, look backwards to the Sarum and other English missals, but as long as we have recourse to the British books, I think we need not look elsewhere. The important thing is to look to our own history and its heroes to inspire us to do what they did which was to seek God completely and embrace and live the Christian faith fully which means we are called to follow the example of the saints.


Death Bredon said...


I would note that the 1928 English Edition of the Book of Common Prayer does list St. Martin of Tours on its calendar for November 11. That book also provides a Common of Saints, and in particular for Bishops. Hence, a very suitable proper for Anglicans would be:

Collect. O God, the light of the faithful, and shepherd of souls, who didst set blessed Martin to be a bishop in the Church, that he might feed thy sheep by his word and guide them by his example; Grant us, we pray thee, to keep the faith which he taught, and to follow in his footsteps; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle. 1 Tim. 3. 15-16. Thou knowest how thou oughtest.. . into glory.

Gospel. Mark 4. 26-32. Jesus said, So is the kingdom.. . shadow of it.

Canon Tallis said...


When I was writing that post I went looking for either the English Book of '28 or the Scots' of 29 so I could include just that information. For some reason I could find neither.

One of the reasons that I am so fond of St. Martin is that I once knew a man whose family traced their surname made to twin infants whom St Martin baptized, thinking them dean, only to have the cold water shock them into deeper breathing and so apparently restoring them to life. The boys were called 'les agneau de St Martin' which in time was shortened to Agneaux. Their descendents went to England with William the Conquerer so they were as a family a very long time Anglican.

Fr.James A.Chantler said...

You might also check out the calendar of the BCP Canada 1962.

Annie Dennis Eskridge said...

Thanks for sharing. I studied at Biola, Talbot Seminary-several classes. I 've a MBA in Christian Apologetice and MBA in Christian Ministry. So, I eas truly blessed to read this blog.