St. Martin of Tours was born around 316 at Sabaria, a Roman city in what is now Hungary. He was attracted to Christianity at a young age. As a soldier in the Roman army, Martin was sent to Amiens in Gaul, which became the scene of the celebrated legend of the cloak.
At the gates of Amiens, one very cold day, Martin met a shivering and half-naked beggar. Filled with compassion, he divided his coat into two parts and gave one to the poor man. The part he kept became a famous relic, preserved in oral legend under the name “St. Martin’s cloak.”
Martin was baptized and spent many years studying and preaching the Gospel. He became bishop of the church of Tours in 372. Many local legends about Martin’s journeys survive in France, and he considered one of its greatest saints.
In the Community
The stories of Christ reaching out to the poor and the marginalized are some of the most deeply moving ones we know. They inspired our patron St. Martin and continue to inspire us to work to bring relief to those who are suffering or ignored in our surrounding community.
“If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” (James 2:15-17)
This work is led by our Outreach Committee, which coordinates the efforts of many parishioners in fundraising and working alongside those in need. Our recent activities include:
- Sponsoring and supporting the re-settlement of an Eritrean refugee in the community
- A successful Spring Fling dinner and silent auction to raise funds to support the Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC) music program. Music supplied by PARC!
- Raising funds to fulfill our pledge to the Pikangikum Water Project, a project sponsored by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund to provide clean drinking water to homes in the Ojibwe community of Pikangikum in Northern Ontario.
- An Advent Tree Ornament program, which bought grocery gift cards for the Redwood Shelter.
- A Christmas Cheer campaign, which bought Christmas gifts for refugees at Romero House.
- Providing, preparing and serving the food for two nights at the St. Matthew`s, Islington Out of the Cold program.
Our Outreach Committee also facilitates our parish’s response to FaithWorks, the outreach arm of the whole diocese. Money donated to Faithworks goes to the 16 partner agencies that provide support both locally and around the world to refugees, prisoners, the homeless, the underemployed and families fleeing abuse.
15% of the money St. Martin`s gives to FaithWorks stays with our Outreach Committee for work in our own community. Most recently we have been able to provide support to: