ST. MARTIN, who occupied the Roman See from A. D. 649 to 655, incurred the enmity of the Byzantine court by his energetic opposition to the Monothelite heresy, and the Exarch Olympius went so far as to endeavor to procure the assassination of the Pope as he stood at the altar in the Church of St. Mary Major; but the would-be murderer was miraculously struck blind, and his master refused to have any further hand in the matter.
His successor had no such scruples: he seized Martin, and conveyed him on board a vessel bound for Constantinople. After a three months’ voyage the island of Naxos was reached, where the Pope was kept in confinement for a year, and finally in 654 brought in chains to the imperial city. He was then banished to the Tannic Chersonese, where he lingered on for four months, in sickness and starvation, till God released him by death on the 12th of November, 655.
Reflection.—There have been times in the history of Christianity when its truths have seemed on the verge of extinction. But there is one Church whose testimony has never failed: it is the Church of St. Peter, the Apostolic and Roman See. Put your whole trust in her teaching!’