Today is the Solemnity of All Saints, or All Saints Day. In honor of this feast day today’s post will feature not one but two saints. Both lived in the same era, and both suffered for the faith. Our first saint is Maximus the Confessor:
Maximus the Confessor (Greek: Μάξιμος ὁ Ὁμολογητής) also known as Maximus the Theologian and Maximus of Constantinople (c. 580 – 13 August 662) was a Christian monk, theologian, and scholar.
In his early life, Maximus was a civil servant, and an aide to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. However, he gave up this life in the political sphere to enter into the monastic life. Maximus had studied diverse schools of philosophy, and certainly what was common for his time, the Platonic dialogues, the works of Aristotle, and numerous later Platonic commentators on Aristotle and Plato, like Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus. When one of his friends began espousing the Christological position known as Monothelitism, Maximus was drawn into the controversy, in which he supported an interpretation of the Chalcedonian formula on the basis of which it was asserted that Jesus had both a human and a divine will. Maximus is venerated in both Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity. His Christological positions eventually resulted in the mutilation of his tongue and right hand, after which he was exiled and died on August 13, 662 in Tsageri, Georgia. However, his theology was upheld by the Third Council of Constantinople and he was venerated as a saint soon after his death. He is almost unique among saints in that he has two feast days: the 13th of August and the 21st of January. His title of Confessor means that he suffered for the Christian faith, but was not directly martyred. The Life of the Virgin its only extant copy is in a Georgian translation, commonly is, albeit mistakenly, attributed to him, and is considered to be one of the earliest complete biographies of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
You can find out more about St. Maximus here, at his wiki.
Our second saint for the day is Pope Martin the First:
Pope Martin I (Latin: Martinus I; died 16 September 655) reigned from 21 July 649 to his death in 655. He was born near Todi, Umbria, in the place now named after him (Pian di San Martino). He succeeded Pope Theodore I on 5 July 649. He was the only pope during the Byzantine Papacy whose election was not approved by a iussio from Constantinople. Martin I was abducted by Emperor Constans II and died at Cherson. He is considered a saint and martyr by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Like Maximus the Confessor, Pope Martin I was targeted by the Byzantine emperor for his denunciation of heresy. Both suffered and died in exile because of their devotion. As we consider the possibility that in the not so distant future we too might have to suffer for the faith, let us keep their examples in mind.
More about his life and trials can be found here, the wiki about him.