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Papal tribute to St. Martin, the ‘father of the poor’

July 04, 2016

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Dominik Duka of Prague as his special envoy to a Mass commemorating the 1,700th anniversary of the birth of St. Martin of Tours.

The Mass will take place on July 9 in Szombathely, Hungary.

In his letter to Cardinal Duka, dated May 27 and released July 2, the Pontiff paid tribute to St. Martin of Tours as “father of the poor.” Quoting an ancient life of the saint, the Pope recalled that the saint did so “by aiding those who were in trouble, by furnishing assistance to the wretched, by supporting the needy, by clothing the naked, while he reserved nothing for himself from his military pay except what was necessary for his daily sustenance.”

The Pope also recalled the saint’s “inner life and daily conduct, his mind always bent upon the things of heaven, his perseverance and self-mastery in abstinence and fastings, his power in watchings and prayers.”

Pope Francis expressed hope that the commemoration of St. Martin’s birth will be favorable to “increasing charity towards the poor and needy, strengthening the Catholic faith, and beginning a new evangelization in Europe.”

 
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