Religious History- Saint Martin of Tours - Set
Religious History- Saint Martin of Tours - Set for only GBP £0.42
Saint Martin (316/317 – 397) grew up in a well-off, pagan family. His father, who was an army officer, was given an estate in Italy as a reward for military service, so Martin was raised in present-day Pavia. At the age of 12 he decided to become a Christian. When he was 15, he joined the army at his father’s behest and at the age of 19 became a real soldier. Records mention his helpfulness and benevolence. He was baptised when he was 22. In 341 barbarians attacked Gaul but Martin did not wish to fight and set off for war unarmed. In the end this conflict was averted because the Frankish ruler sued for peace. This greatly surprised the people, who thought it was a miracle. Martin then left the army and went to Poitiers. In 355 he accompanied the Roman emperor Julian to Gaul and then returned to Pannonia, where he began converting people. In the 4th century the heretical teaching of Arianism was gaining popularity. Martin was expelled from Savaria. In 360 the danger passed and he returned to Gaul and began evangelising in the villages there. In 361 he founded Europe’s first monastery in Ligugé. He was appointed bishop of Tours in 371. His evangelisation was of great importance, and miracles and healings accompanied his life. He was buried in Tours and a chapel was erected over his grave. After his death, veneration of him spread quickly although many legends about his goodness had already circulated while he was still alive. In 461 the Synod of Tours announced a feast in honour of Martin. (Source: hu.wikipedia.org * agorasavaria.hu) The main motif of the stamp shows Saint Martin as a bishop in the centre of the design. Other parts of the composition depict events from the life of Saint Martin. In date order these are baptising his mother in the top left corner, the drawing at the bottom right illustrates the legend of how he gave half of his cloak to a shivering beggar in Gaul, and at the bottom left another turning point in his life is symbolised by a goose – the noisily gaggling bird betrayed where Martin, the Roman soldier turned monk, was hiding because he was reluctant to become a bishop. Next to the goose is a book symbolising erudition and wisdom as well as the Bible. The first day cover for the stamp features the Saint Martin presbytery in Szombathely and a version of the statue of the baptism shown on the stamp. The special cancellation employs motifs associated with Saint Martin, a goose, and a bishop’s mitre and crosier.