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.