OUR PATRON SAINT
Our Patron Saint, Martin of Tours, born about 316 AD in Pannonia (Hungary), was recruited to the imperial cavalry army at Amiens (Gaul) at the age of 15, and it was at that city that the young catechumen (one preparing for baptism) performed the famous charity of dividing his cloak with a half-naked and shivering beggar. The other half was long preserved as “St. Martin’s Cloak” in the chapel of the Frankish Kings. Not long after this famous incident St. Martin received baptism, and as soon as he was discharged from the army, he joined the disciples of St. Hilary of Poitiers.
After he left this order, he founded the famous Benedictine abbey of Liguge, the first Gallic monastery. He was one day called into the city of Tours (in France) by a ruse and forced by popular acclamation to become the new Bishop of the vacant See in spite of his reluctance. As a Bishop he continued the life of humble simplicity and mortification. A very great decrease of paganism in the district of Tours and all parts of Gaul was the fruit of the piety, miracles and zealous instruction of St. Martin.
Every year, he visited each of his outlying parishes, travelling on foot, on a donkey, or by boat. His administration was characterized by justice and firmness, and by great zeal for the purity of the faith against the Priscillianist and Arian heretics. St. Martin was the first saint in the Western Church to be publicly venerated though not a martyr. He died on November 11, 397.
This stained glass picture in our church depicts our patron, Saint Martin of Tours (316 AD), who divided his cloak for a half-naked and shivering beggar.
This shrine is dedicated to the public visitation and respect for Mary, Mother of God, under one of her most glorious titles: Our Lady Queen of the Assumption.
It was blessed on November 5, 1950, four days after His Holiness, Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of Mary’s Assumption.
The parishioners of St. Martin of Tours and their friends erected this shrine, which is constructed of pieces of gold, silver, amethyst, nickel, onyx, granite, asbestos, iron, mica, quartz, marble, Florida sea shells and many other varied and precious minerals and stones.