Born into a pagan family in what is now Hungary around the year A.D. 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 Saint Martin's Day in 1483 the one-day-old son of Hans and Margarette Luther was baptized and given the name "Martin." [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]
Martin was a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers. He died in 397.