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Catholic Activity: St. Martin of Tours and Armistice Day (November 11)

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Discussion of St. Martin and traditions to implement in the family.

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It is odd that Armistice Day falls on the feast of a soldier who was brave enough, but refused to go out to kill. The emperor gave orders that he was to be forced into battle at sword's point, and Martin prayed all night in his cell. Before battle the next morning, the enemy surrendered and there was no need for a fight. This seems to mean only one thing: if we prayed enough we could end the wars. Our Lady said so at Fatima. He is the St. Martin who divided his cloak with the beggar and saw Our Lord that night in a dream, wearing the half cloak and saying: "Martin has given me half his cloak, and he is not even baptized." He is the patron of tailors (naturally!) and also horsemen (he was on horseback when he met the beggar), and is especially invoked for the protection of geese because, according to one of the Martin tales, he had no wish to become Bishop of Tours and so hid himself from the people who had come to acclaim him, and his hiding place was betrayed by the honking of a goose. We tolerate the honking of our goose Michael with slightly more patience than before we had read this. John Michael Newland is invoking St. Martin for protection of this goose, who is not the most popular member of our household and would look better, most think, in the oven.

Activity Source: Year and Our Children, The by Mary Reed Newland, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New York, 1956

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