What better saint to celebrate on Veteran's Day than St. Martin! Did you know in Germany that kids take their candle lit lanterns to the street and hope to catch a glimpse of St. Martin. A man dressed in a Roman's soldiers uniform hands out goodies to the kids. The sweet bready treat, The Weckmann is traditionally served along with cocoa after the long procession or bonfire.
The fire "the light in the darkness" represents Martin, who was in a spiritual war. He desired to become a Christian and when his desire was made known to his pagan parents, he was enlisted at the young age of 15 in the Roman army. Martin was not baptized but he continued to love Jesus. He was a good soldier. Legend has it he met a poorly dressed beggar outside the gate of Amiens in the cold. Martin had nothing to offer the man. But Martin loved Jesus so much and knew he had to do something. His compassion for the poor man brought him to cut his Roman soldiers cloak in two pieces. He offered one piece to the beggar. That night Martin received a dream and it was Jesus dressed in the half cloak Martin had given the beggar. Martin knew he should then be baptized. He also was successful in converting his parents. He eventually became a Bishop in France. He successfully built the first monastery in France. He also tore down many pagan temples. Martin's Feast day is celebrated in Europe with cooked goose for dinner followed by the lantern procession or bonfire.
We don't have enough friends to have a procession with but we did enjoy making some lanterns and lighting them for dinner. Did you see the weather tonight? Cold windy and little misty. It was overcast all day, not a good day to go outside. Definitely a good night for hot cocoa and marshmallows. Tomorrow and the rest of the week- little cold! My dear friend told me that she made it out to see Father Kapaun get honored in Pilsen. My sister was married in the church there. I think we will go next year. We are just getting over colds and had I known to plan for that, it sure would have been tempting- but we still probably couldn't have gone, Brenden was hacking pretty good. What a better way to honor American soldiers than with a ceremony in Pilsen, KS, with a soon to be Saint!