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Martin was buried on 11 November 397 in Tours. The saint, already famous throughout all of Gaul, had died three days earlier in Candes, at the confluence of the Vienne and the Loire rivers. According to Gregory of Tours, Martin’s distant 7th-century successor, when the inhabitants of Touraine brought back his body by boat, the riverbanks began to bloom again in the course of this first ‘Saint Martin summer’.

We are particularly well informed about Martin’s eventful life thanks to his friend and first biographer, the poet Sulpicius Severus, present in Tours on 11 November 397. Sulpicius’s text enjoyed good fortune, as attest the numerous copies that have come down to us. Martin’s exploits, his travels, the way he left the Roman legion, the spectacular sharing of his cloak with a pauper, his meeting with Hilaire in Poitiers, then the founding of the first monasteries in the West, Ligugé and Marmoutier, his election to the episcopate of Tours, his innumerable conversions and dramatic, edifying death in Candes were thus known, admired and commented upon all over Europe. A precious manuscript informs us very precisely about the liturgies practiced in the collegiate church at the beginning of the 13th century: between 1226 and 1237, the canon Péan Gatineau wrote a Ritual or rather a customary-Ordinary, which meticulously describes the usages and sequence of ceremonies, with a wealth of detail and amazing precision. This Ritual would become the authoritative reference for settling eventual disagreements within the chapter since it defines the rights and duties of the canons with the same acuteness.

This recordind includes the reconstruction by the musicians of Diabolus in Musica of the great solemn service for the ‘winter Saint Martin’ (11 November) as it was sung in the early 13th century in the basilica of Saint-Martin of Tours, according to the Ritual of Péan Gatineau, written between 1226 and 1237.

5 Diapason award