Tale of two Martins [not Purple, and not from France (St. Therese’s parents)]

I met another Martin last week.  I’ve only ever known two men by the name of Martin, one very young Martin and one very old Martin.

First the young Martin, I met Martin Richard a couple years ago through a heart wrenching tragedy.  I was not privileged to know Martin personally, but I followed the story as it unfolded.

Martin RichardsMartin was the youngest victim of the Boston marathon tragedy. He comes from a beautiful Catholic family.  Shortly before the tragedy Martin made his First Communion. This has to be one of my favorite pictures.  Martin is here with his First Communion banner on the day he received the sacrament. “Martin, I have no doubt you’re with the Lord.  You celebrated a Communion with the Lord that goes beyond time, shortly after your First Communion here on earth.  We beg you to beg Him for graces our school families need the most.  Young though you were when you died, you see so clearly now!  Help us to see clearly also, and to act with goodness and love.”Martin

…and now the second Martin, who comes from the other end of the longevity scale of life. I would guess Martin to be about 85 when I met him last week.  While out of town for several days, another sister and I went to the same local church for Mass several days.  On the second day we arrived about an hour before the morning Mass to spend a little time with the Lord beforehand. When approaching the church, we saw Martin, the gentleman who was the sacristan and server the day before, at the outdoor shrine lighting a couple of candles.  We had met him the day before, so we struck up a conversation with Martin. He told us there were a lot of things planned for the shrine that day, so he came early to light his candles and take care of his usual maintenance of the altar linens, and have a little time for prayer before things started.  Martin was obviously a humble man, a holy man, a gentleman in the best and true sense of the word.

Here are two Martins, very diverse in age but not in holiness. The young and the old delivered a beautiful homily to me, a homily of life, a homily of action, a homily of lived virtue.  “Jesus, you bless us with beautiful examples of goodness in our brothers and sisters, open our eyes help us to see them, help us to see You.  Amen.”

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