Martin of Vertou

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Arms of Vertou bearing Saint Martin's yew tree

Saint Martin of Vertou (527–601) was a hermit and abbot, founder of Vertou Abbey, and the evangelist of the region around Nantes in Francia. He is sometimes known as the Apostle of the Herbauges.


Martin was distinguished by his virtur, learning, and talent.[1] He was ordained by Saint Felix, Bishop of Nantes, who also made him archdeacon of the church of Nantes and charged him with converting the inhabitants of the town and the surrounding area to Christianity.

In about 577, he withdrew into solitude in an area of wasteland on the right bank of the Sèvre Nantaise. Gradually, as people were drawn to him by his sanctity, he built a church and enlarged his hermitage, which became Vertou Abbey. He also founded other religious communities, including Durieu Abbey, where he died in 601 at the age of seventy-four.[2]

There is a legend that he planted his pilgrim's staff in the middle of the abbey courtyard at Vertou and that it took root, growing into a yew tree, which appears on the arms of the commune of Vertou.

His feast day is 24 October.


Chapel of St. Martin of Vertou, Cathédrale de Nantes.
  1. ^ Monks of Ramsgate. “Martin of Vertou”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 25 November 2014 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ The foundation of the abbey of Saint-Jouin de Marnes is also often attributed to him, but it was apparently an older foundation which had been abandoned, and which in 843 the monks of Vertou occupied when they were displaced by the invasions of the Normans.