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Wednesday, 11 November 2015


The story of St. Martin: chestnuts why?

It is on November 11, when he was buried in Tours, which celebrates the day of St. Martin. Get to know the story.

St. Martin or Martin of Tours, was born in about 316 in the old city of Savaria in Pannonia, an ancient province on the border of the Roman Empire, in present-day Hungary. The son of a Roman commander, grew up in the Pavia region of Italy, in the midst of a pagan family. Created to follow a military career, he was drafted into the Roman army when he was fifteen years traveling around the Western Roman Empire.

Despite receiving a pagan education was a teenager that Martin discovered Christianity. But it was only later, in 356, after leaving the army he was baptized. He became a disciple of Saint Hilary, bishop of Poitiers (in the west of present-day France), the ordered deacon and priest, returning then to Pannonia, where he converted his mother. It moved then to Milan, where have been expelled along with St. Hilary. Isolated, we have spent some time on the island of Galinária off the Italian coast.

Back to Gaul, it was near Poitiers who founded the oldest monastery known in Europe at Ligugé region. Known for his miracles, the saint attracted crowds. He was ordained bishop of Tours in 371 and founded the monastery of Marmoutier, on the banks of the Loire, where he lived in seclusion. Tireless preacher, was also the founder of the first rural churches in Gaul region, which served both rich and poor. He died on November 8 of 397 in Candes and was buried on November 11 in Tours, place of intense pilgrimage from century V.

It is the date of his funeral three days later he died in Candes, which is celebrated the day is devoted to it. It is believed that on the eve and the day of the celebrations, the weather improved and the sun comes up. The event is known as the "Summer of Saint Martin" and is often associated with the known legend of St. Martin.

The legend of St. Martin

On a cold and rainy winter day, Martin followed on horseback when he met a beggar. Seeing the beggar shivering and with nothing that could give her, she picked up the sword and cut his cloak in half, covering it with a party. Later, he returned to find another beggar, with whom he shared the other half of the cover. With nothing to protect him from the cold, Martin continued journey. Legend has it that at that time the dark clouds disappeared and the sun came up. The good weather lasted for three days.

The following night, Christ appeared to Martin in a dream. Using the beggar's robe, he turned to the crowd of angels who were with him and said loudly: "Martin, still catechumen [was not baptized], covered me with this garment."

The traditions of St. Martin Day

The day of St. Martin is celebrated almost everywhere in Europe, but the celebrations vary from country to country. In Portugal's tradition make it a great magusto, drinking-water foot and jeropiga. This is also a time when evidence is the new wine, produced from the harvest of the previous year. As the popular saying goes, "on the day of St. Martin, go to the cellar and taste the wine."

According to some authors, such as José Leite de Vasconcelos and Ernesto Veiga de Oliveira, the achievement of magustos dates back to an ancient tradition of celebrating the Day of All Saints, where they lit fires and roasting chestnuts. In other countries, such as Germany, light up bonfires and make up processions, and Spain are killed pigs, tradition that gave rise to the popular saying "every hog le llega su San Martín" ("Every pig has its Saint Martin "). Also in the UK there is the phrase "summer of Saint Martin" that despite already seldom used, is also linked with the belief that the weather improves in the days before the holiday.

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