On Wednesday this week was the feast of St. Martin of Tours.
He was born in what is now western Hungary in about 316. He was a Roman Soldier who was converted and became a Christian. He spent some time as a Christian hermit and then founded a monastery at Ligugé in western France where he was guided by St. Hilary.
He was ordained a priest and became Bishop of Tours.
He was a very good Pastor and reached out a lot to help the poor and those in need.
As a child growing up in Malta I looked forward to the feast of St Martin. Every Child got a bag made out of cloth. In this bag there was an assortment of nuts still in there shells, often a packet of dried figs and a fruit or two.
I remember really appreciating these goodies, they were a real treat! I particularly enjoyed slicing the dried figs in half and putting the almonds or some other nut in the middle, a fig and nut sandwich!
Borrowing dad’s hammer to break open the nut was part of the challenge.
I look back with very good memories at the custom.
The idea was that since St Martin looked after others, especially the poor, children were also given a generous gift!
We were not poor but the simple things were a real treat! An occasional bar of chocolate or an ice cream were also much appreciated.
We were happy with simple things!
You might have heard the saying ‘live simply so that others will simply live.’
So many of us in more affluent countries have so much food available. There is also so much food wasted.
This is happening while many millions are malnourished and many even facing starvation.
This should not be happening in our world. We produce more than enough food for everyone and more. It is the uneven distribution of resources which causes this imbalance
I am reminded not to waste, to appreciate what I have, and to be grateful for what I have.
I am reminded to not loose sight of that childhood which delighted in simple things!