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Martin of Tours died on this day in A.D. 397. He was made a Christian saint and became the patron of Gaul/France. His fame spread partly as a result of the writing of his disciple Sulpicius Severus who wrote a Life of Martin. Severus called Martin a model of sanctity. Before Martin became a monk and a bishop, he had been a Roman soldier. A famous legend about Martin explains that while he was a soldier in Gaul he met a shivering beggar and ripped his cloak in two to give half to the poor man. The 8th Bishop of Tours, Perpetuus, launched a cult of Martin as a protector against the evils of war and the Arian heresy.
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