Catholic Origin of Veteran’s Day with St Martin of Tours

Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. In other countries, the day is celebrated as Armistice Day. It recalls the ending of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.

St Martin of Tours

However, there is a deeper, Catholic meaning to November 11. This day is the feast of Saint Martin (c. 316 – 397) – that godly hermit and bishop who had once been a soldier. Martin laid down the sword in order to live a life of peace and penance under the gentle yoke of Jesus Christ. St Martin is Europe’s chief example of the transition from soldier to saint; from war to peace.

Traditionally, November 11 had previously served as a day of signing peace treaties in honor of Saint Martin. Thus, it was fitting to end Europe’s Great War on this same day – the festival of Saint Martin of Tours.

So there’s a little Catholic history for you to share at the water-cooler or at your next cocktail party. Saint Martin is the ultimate veteran – a veteran from Christ.

Saint Martin, patron of peace, pray for us.

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