Clothed in love,
St. Martin of Tours.
When I was small I loved the story of St. Martin. A man who when he met a beggar without clothes in the middle of winter used his sword to cut his own cloak in half to clothe this poor man – an act of instinctive love.
He was a Roman soldier and became a Christian at a young age. He left the military in the years before 361AD and joined the church. He became Bishop of Tours in 371AD and was known for his opposition to the violent oppression of those who disagreed with the State.
But, it’s the story of the cloak that continues to grab the attention. After he had cut his cloak he went to bed that night and experienced a vision – Jesus came to him in his dream dressed in the cloak that he had given to the beggar and said “Martin, who is still but a catechumen, clothed me with this robe”. He woke to find that his robe had been restored to its full and complete length.
This vision profoundly affected St. Martin (who wouldn’t be!?) and he was baptised at 18.
An interesting historical side note is the impact this cloak had on our language. Priests who cared for the relic of the actual cloak that St. Martin wore were called ‘cappellanu’ and subsequently all Priests who served in the army were called ‘cappellani’ or in French – ‘chapelains’ which is where our word for ‘chaplain’ comes from.
Also, the little churches that were set up to care for the ‘little cloak’ when it was on tour were called ‘capella’. Ultimately those small churches lost their association with the cloak – and became ‘chapels’.
All this from a cloak cut in half to care for the poorest. All this from an act of instinctive love.
A huge thanks to Fr. Angus for covering mass last Sunday, and thank you all for making him so welcome.
If you enjoyed the choir, then come and join! Rehearsals for the Advent Carols starts on the 14th November straight after Parish Mass.
If you could stay after mass on the 14th November and help clean I’d really appreciate it, we want the church looking wonderful for the Christmas Lights turn on.
17th November is the Hayes Christmas Lights turn on – hosted here at St. Anselm! The schools choir will sing for us at 4pm and the mayor will turn on the town lights at 4:30pm
I’d really appreciate any volunteers for the 17th to help serve mince pies, tea & coffee and mulled wine. Please let Fr. Matthew know if you can help.