Friday, November 11, 2016

Saint Martin of Tours

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. Jesus appears wearing the very cloak Martin has shared. And he 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.

St. Albans Psalter, English, early 12th century, Dombibliothek Hildesheim, Germany.