Today the Western churches celebrate the feast of St. Martin of Tours. Here is El Greco’s painting depicting St. Martin cutting a portion of his cloak for a beggar, an episode which would inspire Christians (including Francis of Assisi) for centuries. In medieval Europe, “Martinmas” would also initiate a forty-day period of fasting until Epiphany (excluding Saturdays and Sundays).

San Martín y el mendigo