Earlier this week, we introduced you to a few American military orders named for saints: The Orders of St. Barbara, St. Michael, and St. Maurice.
We left you with a little quiz on three more orders.
How did you do? Did you come up with a guess as to how these orders chose their patrons?
The Order of St. Martin of Tours is the highest award for distinguished service in the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.
St. Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier, famously gave part of his cloak to a beggar, then had a dream in which he saw Christ Himself wearing the cloak. Martin later became a priest and then Bishop of Tours. His identity as a soldier and a minister make him an apt patron of this Corps.
Interestingly, another Army Corps also has an Order of St. Martin—the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. Quartermasters are in charge of food and supplies, and perhaps St. Martin is their inspiration because he “supplied” a beggar with his needs.
One more fun fact about St. Martin—his feast day is also Veterans’ Day!
The Order of St. George recognizes achievement in U.S. Army cavalry or armored units. St. George was a Roman soldier and is nearly always portrayed mounted on a horse and slaying a dragon, so it makes sense that mounted warriors would find a kindred spirit in him!
The Order of St. Christopher is awarded to outstanding members of the Army’s Transportation Corps. St. Christopher excelled at transportation when he used his exceedingly large, strong frame to carry travelers across a dangerous river—with one of his passengers being the Christ Child Himself.
BONUS! We promised to tell you about the above-mentioned orders, but wouldn’t you know it, we discovered another one! The Order of St. Gabriel rewards excellence in the Army’s Public Affairs department, which handles news and communication with the civilian world. St. Gabriel was chosen as patron since he is God’s particular messenger in Scripture.
There may be more orders out there that we missed. If you know of—or are a member of—a saintly military order, write to us and let us know!
At The Catholic Company, we have a range of gifts with the insignia of your or your loved one’s military branch. Our popular Saint Michael U.S. Army medal also comes in Marine, Air Force, and Navy variations and is the perfect way for a servicemember or veteran to recall the protection of the saints. Pick yours up today!