November 11, 2008

Martinmas

Today is Martinmas, the feast day of Martin of Tours. He died in 397. He was a cavalry officer in the Roman army of Constanine - a soldier saint. Martin Luther was named after him and was baptized on November 11. Martin became bishop of Tours, and became a proponent of Trinitarian Christianity, fighting against Arianism.

My favorite remembrance of Martin's story is that when in France he saw a scantily dressed, freezing beggar at the side of the road. Martin removed his cloak and slashed it in two, sharing it with the beggar. In a dream that night, he saw Christ wearing his cloak.


This story gives depth to Jesus saying, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me."

Part of Martin's cloak was saved as a relic in France and kept in a "chapelle", from the French word chape, meaning "cape", and its overseer was the "chapelain", from which we get our words chapel and chaplain.

Every year it seems as this day approaches I'm remembering it's story, as I've been going through the household clothes, changing out summer clothes for winter, and getting reacquainted with the winter coats, gloves, hats, boots, etc, situation. I've been making up bags of stuff to drop off, for sharing with those with needs.


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