At eighteen years of age he was baptized. He gave up thereupon the life of a soldier, and betook himself to Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, by whom he was placed in the order of Acolytes. Being afterwards made Bishop of Tours, he built a monastery wherein he lived in holiness for a while in company of four-score monks. At the last he fell sick of a grievous fever at Cande, a village in his diocese, and besought God in constant prayer of this dying body. His disciples heard him and said: Father, why wilt thou go away from us? unto whom wilt thou bequeath us in our sorrow? Their words moved Martin, and he said: Lord, if I be still needful to thy people, I refuse not to work.
When his disciples saw him, in the height of the fever, lying upon his back and praying, they entreated him to turn over and take little rest upon his side while the violence of his sickness would allow him. But Martin answered them: Suffer me to look heavenward rather than earthward, that my spirit may see the way whereby it is so soon going to the Lord. At the moment of death he saw the enemy of mankind, and cried out: What are you come here for, you bloody brute? You murderer, you'll find nothing in me. With these words on his lips, he gave up his soul to God, being aged eighty years. He was received by a company of Angels, who were heard praising God by many persons, especially by holy Severinus, Bishop of Cologne.