Happy Martinmas!

Happy Martinmas! Today is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. St. Martin was a Roman soldier who saw a beggar by the roadside. Drawing his sword, he cut his cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. That night, Christ appeared to him wearing the other half of his cloak; the beggar was Christ. St. Martin later became a monk, a hermit, and the bishop of Tours, France.

His feast day, Nov. 11, was traditionally celebrated as something close to the American Thanksgiving, with goose in place of turkey. During the Third Republic, he became the de facto patron of France. In 1918, during World War I, many French Catholics regarded it as a divine sign when the Germans agreed to an armistice on the feast day of St. Martin, veteran and French patron.

Because St. Martin clothed a stranger, he is also a patron saint of hospitality workers and restaurants. I once saw a statue of St. Martin in a Mexican restaurant on Mitchell Street in Milwaukee, and the photos below show a similar statue in a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco:

St. Martin 1

St. Martin 2
For more information about St. Martin and Martinmas, refer here and here.

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