St. Martin was born in Tuscany, Italy at the end of the sixth/beginning of the seventh century. He became a deacon and became the papal nuncio to the emperor in Constantinople at that time. During this time period, the heresy of monothelitism was present in the Church. This heresy correctly stated that Jesus had two natures (human and divine), but incorrectly asserted that Jesus only had one will that was divine. This is problematic because Jesus was like us in all ways but sin and had to learn to conform His will to the Father’s just like us. 

This put Eastern Catholicism (Byzantine) who supported the heresy and Western Catholicism (Roman) who defended the human will of Jesus at odds. In order to keep the peace, the emperor declared that no statements could be made by either position. When Martin became pope, he refused to be silent. He spoke out against the heresy, excommunicating the eastern leaders who held the position of monothelitism. As a result, the emperor sent armed men to execute Pope Martin while celebrating mass. Temporarily blinded by a light during their attempt, the armed men had to resort to arresting the Pope and exiling him. He was humiliated, beaten to an inch of his life, and exiled until his death in 655 because he defended Truth.  It wasn’t until 681 at the Third Council of Constantinople that Pope Martin was affirmed as the Church proclaimed dogmatically that Jesus had both a divine and human will just as he had a divine and human nature.