Saint of the Day: Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome

Martin, born in Italy, was the last Pope of Rome to be martyred. He met his end, due to starvation and sickness, in what is now the Crimean region of Ukraine.

St Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome, was the last of the pontiffs of the universal Church to suffer martyrdom. He suffered greatly in defense of Orthodoxy and the Roman Church during the Monothelite controversy of the 7th century. He is venerated by Eastern Christians on April 13, and in the West on November 12. Other saints bearing the same name are Martin de Porres, a Dominican of Peru, and St Martin of Tours, who has long been revered in France.

Born in Umbria, at a place that now bears his name: Piandi San Martino. His birthdate is not known. Educated in the doctrine of the Church, he joined the clergy and ultimately was named apocrisarius: a high diplomatic representative for the Roman see to the court of at Constantinople. Following the death of Pope Theodore I in 649, Martin was elected as successor. He appointed Bishop John of Philadelphia, the city in modern Jordan that is now known as Amman, to serve as administrator of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem following the death of Patriach Sophronius, who had died in 638. Affirming the universal authority of the Roman pontiff, Martin justified this appointment "by the apostolic power which came to him from Jesus Christ through St. Peter."

During Martin’s papacy, the Monothelite heresy began to question Church doctrine concerning the divinity of Jesus Christ. The heresy advanced the teaching that Jesus had two natures but one will, contrary to the Orthodox position that he had two wills - human and divine. The heretics were able to find adherents in high levels of society, such as Emperor Constans (641–668) and Patriarch Paul of Constantinople (641–654). Emperor Constans even published a book entitled "Pattern of Faith", a heretical book that all people were required to read.  When Martin read the book, he staunchly supported Orthodoxy and even convened the Lateran Council at Rome in order to condemn this heresy that was supported by the State.

When Emperor Constans learned this, he sent an assassin to kill the pope. The assassin, a commander in the emperor’s army, quailed when it came time to carry out the emperor’s order. So, the assassin hired someone to perform the deed. The hired assassin became blinded upon approaching Martin and was unable to kill him. The army commander fled from Rome in fear and soon died in battle.

The emperor continued his efforts to kill the saintly Pope by hiring another army commander to accuse him of heresy. Unable to dethrone the pope on the accusation, the assassin resorted to capturing St. Martin at night and bringing him to the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea in the year 654. Over the course of a year on this small, scarcely populated island, Martin was starved and abused by prison guards.

The saint was brought to trial, weak and ill from the abuses he endured in prison, and calmly withstood the false accusations laid against him and false witnesses who accused him of treason. The judge condemned the saint without hearing his defense. Unable to bare the tortures anymore, the saint said, "The Lord knows what a great kindness you would show me if you would deliver me quickly over to death." Many believed the false witnesses and jeered him as he was brought to prison, while those who believed the saint were not able to bear seeing him so humiliated and fled in tears. The saint was to be deposed from his rank and executed.
 
When Emperor Constans reported this to Patriarch Paul, the patriarch realized the faults of his ways and ordered for the torments to stop. Martin boldly declined the patriarch's request, not wanting to adhere to the Church of Constantinople since it was still under the sway of the heretical Monothelite doctrine.  Martin was ultimately banished to Chersonesos Taurica (a city in present-day southern Ukraine in the Crimea region), where he arrived on May 15, 655 and died of hunger and sickness on September 16 of that year.

Monothelitism (a Greek word meaning "one will") is a particular teaching about how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus, known as a Christological doctrine. Specifically, Monothelitism teaches that Jesus Christ had two natures but only one will. This is contrary to the Orthodox interpretation of Christology, which teaches that Jesus Christ has two wills (human and divine) corresponding to his two natures. Monothelitism is a development of the Monophysitism position in the Christological debates. It enjoyed considerable support in the seventh century before being rejected as heretical at the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680.
 

Feast of St Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome

Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, O treasury of every good and Bestower of life: come and dwell in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Good One.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Three times)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, be gracious unto our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy Name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. (Three times).

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Which art in the Heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Amen. Lord, have mercy. (Twelve times). Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O come, let us worship and fall down before our King and God. O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and God. O come, let us worship and fall down before Him, Christ the King and our God.


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Psalm 53

For the End: Among the Hymns of Instruction by David. When the Ziphites Came, and Said to Saul: Lo, is not David Hidden with Us?
O God, in Thy name save me, and in Thy strength do Thou judge me. O God, hearken unto my prayer, give ear unto the words of my mouth. For strangers are risen up against me, and mighty men have sought after my soul and have not set God before themselves. For behold, God helpeth me, and the Lord is the protector of my soul. He will bring evils upon mine enemies. Utterly destroy them by Thy truth. Willingly shall I sacrifice unto Thee; I will confess Thy name, O Lord, for it is good. For out of every affliction hast Thou delivered me, and mine eye hath looked down upon mine enemies.

Psalm 54

For the End: Among the Hymns of Instruction by David.

Give ear, O God, unto my prayer, and disdain not my supplication; attend unto me, and hear me. I was grieved in my meditation, and I was troubled at the voice of the enemy and at the oppression of the sinner; Because they have turned iniquity upon me, and with wrath were they angry against me.

My heart is troubled within me, and the terror of death is fallen upon me. Fear and trembling are come upon me, and darkness hath covered me. And I said: Who will give me wings like a dove? And I will fly, and be at rest. Lo, I have fled afar off and have dwelt in the wilderness. I waited for God that saveth me from faintheartedness and from tempest. Plunge them into the depths, O Lord, and divide their tongues, for I have seen iniquity and gainsaying in the city. Day and night they go round about her upon her walls; iniquity and toil and unrighteousness are in the midst of her. And usury and deceit have not departed from her streets.

For if mine enemy had reviled me, I might have endured it. And if he that hateth me had spoken boastful words against me, I might have hid myself from him. But thou it was, O man of like soul with me, my guide and my familiar friend, Thou who together with me didst sweeten my repasts; in the house of God I walked with thee in oneness of mind. Let death come upon such ones, and let them go down alive into hades. For wickedness is in their dwellings, and in the midst of them.

As for me, unto God have I cried, and the Lord hearkened unto me. Evening, morning, and noonday will I tell of it and will declare it, and He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from them that draw nigh unto me, for they among many were with me. God will hear, and He will humble them, He that is before the ages. For to them there is no requital, because they have not feared God; He hath stretched forth His hand in retribution. They have defiled His covenant; they were scattered by the wrath of His countenance, and their hearts have convened.

Their words were smoother than oil, and yet they are darts. Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He will nourish thee; He will never permit the righteous to be shaken. But Thou, O God, shalt bring those men down into the pit of destruction. Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but as for me, O Lord, I will hope in Thee.

Psalm 90

A Canticle Praise of David. Without Superscription among the Hebrews.

He that dwelleth in the help of the Most High shall abide in the shelter of the God of heaven. He shall say unto the Lord: Thou art my helper and my refuge. He is my God, and I will hope in Him. For He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters and from every troubling word. With His shoulders will He overshadow thee, and under His wings shalt thou have hope. With a shield will His truth encompass thee; thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day, Nor for the thing that walketh in darkness, nor for the mishap and demon of noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but unto thee shall it not come nigh. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and thou shalt see the reward of sinners. For Thou, O Lord, art my hope. Thou madest the Most High thy refuge; No evils shall come nigh thee, and no scourge shall draw nigh unto thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. On their hands shall they bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Upon the asp and basilisk shalt thou tread, and thou shalt trample upon the lion and dragon. For he hath set his hope on Me, and I will deliver him; I will shelter him because he hath known My name. He shall cry unto Me, and I will hearken unto him. I am with him in affliction, and I will rescue him and glorify him. With length of days will I satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia: Glory to Thee, O God. (Three times). Lord, have mercy. (Three times).
 

Dismissal hymns of the day:


ST MARTIN THE CONFESSOR, POPE OF ROME


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Troparion - The 3rd Tone

Thou didst strengthen the Church with true doctrine,/ O wise Hierarch Martin;/ thou didst declare the two natures of Christ/ and put heresy to shame./ Pray to Him to grant us His great mercy.

The 1st Tone

Save, O Lord, Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; grant Thou unto the faithful victory over adversaries. And by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Seeing that we have no boldness on account of our many sins, do thou beseech Him that was born of thee, O Virgin Theotokos; for the supplication of a Mother availeth much to win the Master's favor. Disdain not the prayers of sinners, O most august one; for merciful is He, and mighty to save, He that deigned to suffer for our sake.

Let Thy compassions quickly go before us, O Lord, for we are become exceedingly poor. Help us, O God our Savior, for the sake of the glory of Thy name. O Lord, deliver us and be gracious unto our sins for Thy name's sake.


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Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Three times).


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, be gracious unto our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy Name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. (Three times).

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Which art in the Heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Amen.

Kontakion - The 8th Tone/Plagal of the Fourth

O High Priest and Teacher of Mysteries, thou didst pour forth streams of doctrine;/ thou didst expound the true theology that Christ has two natures and wills./ Intercede for those who cry: Rejoice, blessed Father Martin.

Thou hast wrought salvation in the midst of the earth, O Christ God; Thou didst stretch out Thine immaculate hands upon the Cross, thereby gathering all nations that cry to Thee: O Lord, glory be to Thee.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

We worship Thine immaculate icon, O Good One, asking the forgiveness of our failings, O Christ our God; for of Thine own will Thou wast well-pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, that Thou mightest deliver from slavery to the enemy those whom Thou hadst fashioned. Wherefore, we cry to Thee thankfully: Thou didst fill all things with joy, O our Saviour, when Thou camest to save the world.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Most glorified art thou, O Virgin Theotokos. We praise thee, for through the Cross of thy Son, Hades was cast down and death was slain. Having been put to death, we raised up and were deemed worthy of life. We received Paradise, the ancient bliss. Wherefore, in thanksgiving we glorify Christ our God, since He is mighty and alone abundant in mercy.

Lord, have mercy. (Forty times).

Thou Who at all times and at every hour, in Heaven and on earth, art worshipped and glorified, O Christ God, Who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy, most compassionate, Who lovest the righteous and hast mercy on sinners, Who callest all to salvation through the promise of good things to come: receive, O Lord, our prayers at this hour, and guide our life toward Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, purify our intentions, and deliver us from every sorrow, evil, and pain. Compass us about with Thy holy Angels, that, guided and guarded by their array, we may attain to the unity of faith, and the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory; for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (Three times).

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, thee who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.

In the Name of the Lord, bless. Amen.

O God and Lord of Hosts, and Maker of all Creation, Who in the tender compassion of Thy mercy which transcendeth comprehension, didst send down Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the salvation of our race, and by His precious Cross didst tear asunder the handwriting of our sins, and thereby didst triumph over the principalities and powers of darkness: Do Thou Thyself, O Master, Lover of mankind, accept also from us sinners these prayers of thanksgiving and entreaty, and deliver us from every destructive and dark transgression, and from all enemies, both visible and invisible, that seek to do us evil. Nail down our flesh with the fear of Thee, and incline not our hearts unto words or thoughts of evil, but pierce our souls with longing for Thee, so that ever looking to Thee, and being guided by Thy Light as we behold Thee, the unapproachable and everlasting Light, we may send up unceasing praise and thanksgiving unto Thee, the Unoriginate Father, with Thine Only-begotten Son, and Thine All-holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Lord, have mercy. (Three times). Lord, bless.

Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

 

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