feast – April 13
Born in Todi and educated in Rome, this pious Italian priest was sent by Pope Theodore I as nuncio to Constantinople, where he encountered the Monothelite heresy claiming Jesus had only a divine will and was not truly human. When Martin followed Theodore as pope in 649, he convened a council that condemned this heresy and an imperial decree supporting it. The emperor’s legates tried to arrest Martin in Italy, and succeeded in 653. The already sick pope was held in solitary confinement in Constantinople, condemned for treason and scourged. Banished to Crimea, he died there of starvation, and is the last pope to be venerated as a martyr.