Today for November 11 Martin of Tours, Pastor: Born into a pagan family in what is now Hungary around AD 316, Martin grew up in Lombardy (Italy). Coming to the Christian faith as a young person, he began a career in the Roman army. But sensing a call to a church vocation, Martin left the military and became a monk, affirming that he was “Christ’s Soldier.” Eventually, Martin was named bishop of Tours in western Gaul (France). He is remembered for his simple lifestyle and his determination to share the Gospel throughout rural Gaul. Incidentally, on St. Martin’s Day in 1483, the one-day-old son of Hans and Margarette Luther was baptized and given the name “Martin” Luther.
Today for November 14 Emperor Justinian, Christian Ruler and Confessor of Christ: Justinian was the emperor of the East from AD 527 to 565, when the Roman Empire was in decline. With his beautiful and capable wife, Theodora, he restored splendor and majesty to the Byzantine court. During his reign, the empire experienced a renaissance, due in large part to his ambition, intellegence, and strong religious convictions. Justinian also attempted to bring unity to a divided Church. He was a champion of orthodox Christianity and sought agreement among the parties in the Christological controversies of the day as the groups disputed the relation between the divine and the human natures in the person of Christ. The fifth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in AD 533 was held during his reign and addressed this dispute. Justidian died in his eighties without having accomplished his desire to forge an empire that was firmly Christian and orthodox.