Colour words are used frequently by pagan novelists as well as epic and lyric poets of the first and second century A.D. Yet they are almost avoided in biblical and early Christian literature. So we ask how colour words were used by later Christian authors usurping pagan literature more freely. In order to find an answer we concentrate on the so-called ,,Martinellus", a corpus of hagiographical texts, mainly on the life of St Martin, written in prose and verse by Sulpicius Severus, Paulinus Petricordensis and Venantius Fortunatus. In spite of the close intertextual relationship between their works some differences become apparent. Severus is still using colour words sparingly, whilst his successors get more and more accustomed to their use; especially for the symbolic display of wealth, power and social prestige and where the praetexts are missing like in the prologues and epilogues of the hagiographical epics.