Pope St. Martin I (Feast: April 13)
Pope Martin I is historically acclaimed as a heroic defender of the Faith, a man of exalted virtue and untiring courage.
Born in Umbria, his biographer Theodore describes him as “of noble birth, a great student, of commanding intelligence, of profound learning, and of great charity to the poor.”
Elected as the successor of the Fisherman in 649, Martin governed the Church during a time when the Emperor of Constantinople, Constans II, supported Paul, the Patriarch of Constantinople and others in the Monothelite heresy, which proposed that Christ had a reduced human nature and human will.
At the patriarch's adamant refusal to recant his heretical doctrine, the Pope refused to remain silent, issued an excommunication against the Patriarch Paul and summoned a Lateran Council which formally condemned the heresy. Infuriated at this “slap in the face” Constans II sent a man to Rome to assassinate the Pope, but Martin was protected by God and the attempt failed.
After this, many calamities befell the Emperor, but obstinate, he ordered his governor and soldiers in Italy to arrest the Pope and bring him to Constantinople, which, after some difficulties, was finally carried out.
In Constantinople the Pope was subject to public ridicule, extreme ill treatment and then a cruel imprisonment. Lastly, Constans II exiled him to the Crimea where he suffered from the famine of the land, from total friendlessness and abandonment of his own.
He died two years later in 656 a martyr to the right of the Church to define and uphold doctrine even in the face of Imperial power.
Photo by: Wolfgang Sauber
DAILY QUOTE for May 31, 2020
SAINT OF THE DAY
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Eutychian, Patriarch of Constantinople, relates the following well-known story of Theophilus (6th century). The Patriarch was an eyewitness of the fact which we relate here,