Today is Veteran’s Day as well as the Feast Day of St. Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier of the 4th century who converted to Christianity, became a monk and then eventually served as a bishop of Tours in France. According to legend, Martin encountered a nearly naked beggar on the streets and decided to rip his military cloak in half in order to give part of it to the cold beggar. That night, Martin had a dream in which he saw Jesus wearing the same military cloak and telling the angels about Martin’s kindness and generosity. Martin’s little cloak soon became a relic that was housed in several churches in Western Europe. In Latin, the word for little cloak is capella, and soon, the many churches that claimed to have a piece of Martin’s capella began to be called capellae themselves. And that is actually where we get the word “chapel”! In fact, the oldest church in England (and the entire English-speaking world) is a chapel named after St. Martin: St. Martin’s Church, which was originally the private chapel of Queen Bertha of Kent (539 – 612). And in 1483, a young boy in northern Germany was born on the feast day of St. Martin and was given the name of the beloved saint. The boy’s surname was “Luther” and he left something of a mark on Western Christianity as well! This upcoming Monday evening (Nov 13) from 6 to 6:45 PM, I will be joining some of the preschool kids in celebrating St. Martin of Tours in what is known as Lanternlaufen. You can learn more about it below and you can also join us!