By T.K. Wilson (Rated G)
In those days, Constantinople was the most prominent church in the world with power and influence, especially over the Emperor. Also in Martin’s day, there was a debate raging about whether or not Christ had two wills, a human will and a divine will. Those who argued that Christ only had a divine will denied that Christ was like other human only without sin. Theodore, and then Martin when he became Pope after him, denounced this heresy and excommunicated anyone who held it.
The Byzantine Emperor, who subscribed to the heresy, furious that anyone would deny his will, ordered an assassin to go to Rome and either kill or capture Martin. The assassin was struck blind, and could not fulfill his orders. After this, the Emperor sent a team of men to capture Martin and bring him to Constantinople to answer for his crimes. Like another famous Martin, Pope Martin, often surnamed “the Confessor”, refused to back down. He was beaten, tortured, and condemned to death. At the last moment, however, the sentence was changed to banishment and he was sent to Cherson, a city in what is now Crimea. The city was in a severe famine at the time, and it was here that Pope Martin passed away. His remains were brought home to Rome at some point after.
May we be as brave as Pope Martin when it comes to the essentials of our faith!