St Martin's Day
11 November 2010 | St Martin
Waiting for the seas to subside
St. Martin of Tours was born in the 4th century in what is now Hungary. My reference book tells me that he was a soldier in the Roman army and, while on horseback he met a starving (an presumably cold) beggar. He cut his red cloak in two with his trusty sword and gave half to the beggar. The next night he had a dream in which he saw Jesus wearing the other half of his cloak. In the dream he is asked if he recognizes the cloak. Of course he does and then converts to the new religion in which he quickly becomes a bishop.
You sometimes see Martin depicted walking along side a donkey en route to Rome. On his journey he encounters the devil (yikes!), who mocks him for not riding on the donkey as a (still warm and rich) Bishop should. For his insubordination, the devil is promptly turned into a donkey who has to haul good Martin all the way to Rome. The devil donkey curses him and we never find out what else happens. The noisy devil may still be stuffed inside a donkey roaming the streets of Rome.
In many countries, including Germany, Martinmas celebrations begin at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of this eleventh day of the eleventh month. (That is exactly when this was posted). Children sometimes carry lanterns in the streets after dark and sing songs. It is also the beginning of the Winter Karneval season.
Here in St Martin it does not seem to be a big deal. School is out and some have the day off.
Let's not forget the veterans this November 11th and, perhaps more importantly, those soldiers that died or are p.o.w.
We have lots to do and like it here.
A handsome prize to anyone that can identify the rather bored looking couple in the mirror over the mantle in today's picture