In this two-tiered manuscript painting of The Legend of Saint Martin, the story begins on the bottom level. There the Roman soldier Martin cuts his military cloak in half to share it with a shivering beggar. The upper tier shows Martin asleep, his dream illustrated in a semicircle above him, in which Jesus appears wearing the very cloak that Martin has shared. The Lord thanks Martin for his generosity. Our Lord's message is clear, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." We want to notice the needy one in our midst; Christ Jesus assures us that He is the Needy One.
Here at the Abbey, we have been enjoying November days of unseasonable warmth. This is referred to as Saint Martin's Summer, so named because of the legend, that the Lord made the weather warmer after Martin shared his cloak so that neither he nor the beggar would suffer from the chill.
St. Albans Psalter, English, early 12th century, Dombibliothek Hildesheim, Germany