On Monday, 9th November 2020 a group of students from St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua committed themselves to do good deeds in preparation for the feast of St. Martin of Tours which is liturgically celebrated on November 11th.
First students were invited to listen to a short biography about St. Martin and then they wrote three good deeds respectively committing themselves to exercise these deeds throughout the November month especially.
This project was coordinated by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc who said “It is not enough for today’s young generation to retell the stories of Christian Saints but we need to challenge our youths to imitate the good virtues of these saints in their present lives otherwise the life of Christian saints become meaningless to them”
St. Martin was born in the year 316AD in what is now Hungary and he was the son of a Roman Officer. During his childhood his family moved to Pavia in Northern Italy where St. Martin came under the influence of Christians who worked as servants in his parents’ home. Then at the age of ten, St. Martin became a catechumen (someone who receives instruction about the Christian faith but who is not baptized) but his father feared that this would prevent his son from following the profession of a soldier. At the age of 15, St. Martin was obliged to obey and became a cavalry officer with the Roman Army. In fact it is during this time that the story of St. Martin and beggar occurred. The story says:
One night in an unusually severe winter, Martin met a beggar at the gates of the City of Amiens and, having nothing but his arms and the plain garment of a soldier, he prayed that those passing would have compassion on the naked man. However, no one came to his aid and so Martin, taking his sword, cut his cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. That night Martin had a dream in which the risen Christ was wearing half a cloak and telling his angels that Martin had given it to him.
Following this event, St. Martin was baptized and after two years of service he left the army. St. Martin joined the monastic life and in 361 AD he founded a monastery at Poitiers where he lived for ten years. St. Martin died somewhere around 397 AD.
In Malta, St Martin’s feast is deeply rooted in our history and it is normally celebrated on the Sunday closest to the 11th November, in Bahrija village, where an annual fair and small procession takes place every year.
The following are some good deeds which a group of Form 10 students committed themselves to follow on the footsteps of St. Martin of Tours:
“I commit myself to donate some of my childhood toys to Charity Shops in aid of poor children” by student Keane Mizzi;
“I commit myself to show more respect to others and do not speak against them behind their back” by student Lars Bahmuller;
“I commit myself to help more my mum in her daily house work duties” by student Hayden Agius;
“I commit myself to be more calm when relating with others” by student Tristan Vella;
“I commit myself to be more docile with my family especially with my parents” by student Emrik Rodo and Aiden Vella;
“I commit myself to argue less with my family members” by student Aceline Grixti;
“I commit myself to control my language especially at home and with my friends” by Anon student;
“I commit myself to serve more my parents with love” by student Kayleen Busuttil and Aidan Muscat;
“I commit myself to be more attentive to the needs of others” by student Anastasia Darmanin;
“I commit myself to be less nervous and more patient with others in my daily life” by student Delisa Zammit;
“I commit myself to help all those in need whoever they are and wherever I am” by student Desiree Camilleri;
“I commit myself to listen more to others especially to my family members” by student Elisa Vella.
Thanks to this school project students realized more the need to get familiar with the life of Christian Saints and commit themselves to imitate them with love and virtue.
Written by Mariah Vella and Aidan Vella
Students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua, Malta.
St. Margaret College students: Mariah Vella and Aidan Vella and classmates together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc committing themselves to do good deeds on the footsteps of St. Martin of Tours – 9th November 2020.