St. Martin of Tours, part 2

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Perhaps now that I have gotten a bit of Saint Martin’s story described, it would be an opportune time to recollect on some of the virtues of this saint and also recollect some general observations of this day. In St. Martin’s story it is mentioned that he both served in the military, and served Christ’s Church as monk and as bishop. In both instances Martin placed importance on service. His military service is especially memorable on this Veterans Day. In his service as bishop, one might ponder how he placed service to others above himself. It was after all his flock that called him to that bishop’s post, even though he preferred solitude. He answered their calls. In his devotion to the service to others, one too cannot forget his generous service to the beggar. It is here once again that this venerable saint places another’s needs before his own. Though not part of his symbolism, I think I might always now associate this saint with the poppy flowers that are given out on Veterans Day. That day, like St. Martin, is a remembrance of those who served. To me the virtue of Saint Martin is service for others, and that is the virtue also of Veterans Day.
From virtues to observations. Saint Martin’s day is the last festive meal prior to the Advent fast. It involves poultry, and wine, and occurs in November; and that similarity to America’s Thanksgiving is too great to miss. The second observation is that Frances “new wine” is released one week after St. Martin’s day which is noted for “Saint Martin’s wine.” With that observation is the knowledge that France is strongly secular, and that Thanksgiving Day has been manipulated to meet the demands of capitalism. That capitalist need is to extend “the holiday shopping season.” Why is that important? I think perhaps St. Martins Day is worth remembering this time of year as a Religious Holiday that is now overshadowed by those secular events. I can ponder that loss of Catholic heritage. I can also quietly think of St. Martin’s day as a Catholic Thanksgiving day minus the secular capitalist spin. Its perhaps a small feast, but one that should not be missed.

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