Sulpicius Severus’ account of St Martin sharing his cloak with the beggar at the gate of Amiens is still one of the most prominent and best-known episodes of late antique Christian hagiography. This deed is considered above all as the epitome of Martin’s charity and will to follow Christ. Furthermore, this episode also serves to apologize Martin’s military service in the Roman army. The latter was a heavy burden for Sulpicius’ saint, which the author of his Vita had to get rid of in the most credible way possible. Sulpicius asserts that Martin’s compulsory military service was dominated by Christian virtues. A narratological close reading focusing on the categories of ‘distance’ and ‘focalization’ and applying linguistic analysis tools as well shows that eventually it is the narrative disposition of the ‘Amiens episode’ that makes the narrator’s earlier apologetic authorial statements credible.