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Cloak and beggar

Dr Mary Ruskin, Thorpe Bay

ImageAmid all the gung-ho jingoism of mid-November, few seem to have noticed the irony that 11 November is the feast of St Martin of Tours. St Martin was a fourth-century bishop, most famous for sharing his cloak with a beggar.

Of greater interest, however, to readers of Peace News is that St Martin was one of the first conscientious objectors. He resigned his commission in the Roman army with the immortal words: ‘I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight.’

Further irony is added to the date when one remembers how our medieval forebears celebrated the feast of St Martin.

This was the day of the annual slaughter of surplus livestock. How poignant that we should use the same day to commemorate the pointless slaughter of ‘surplus’ young men....

With the help of St Martin, let us all work towards a more peaceful world.

Topics: Religion