I like to pretend to not be Catholic. I’m even a hint leary of the word Christian. But I’m a bit of a liar. Jesus is my guru. When I was a kid my favorite saint story was Saint Martin’s. He was a Roman Soldier, undoubtedly of poor repute, who one day came across a beggar, cold and shivering. In one of those moments of conversion (I love a good redemption story) his heart opened and he took his voluminous red soldier’s cape, tore it in two and gave half to the man. Later that night, as I was told, a man came and sat amongst the encamped soldiers around the evening fire. As the night wore on and he shared his message of love, the solder came to realize that the man was Jesus. He drew closer only to realize that Jesus wore half a soldier’s cape around his shoulders. At this point Jesus looks to him and says that, yes, whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do onto me.
Now the version in Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions book is not quite so mystical - Jesus rather visits the soldier in a dream. I cannot account for this discrepancy, however, I can say that this is the origin of Martinmas. Taking place on November 11, Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions (I love this book…) goes on to tell me that it is a festival of lanterns, symbolizing the light of generosity that illuminates the darkness of lack.
In her home they celebrate by each child choosing an article to take to a nearby shelter. In our home, we celebrate with free massage.
In honor of Veteran’s Day (oh, the synchronicities…) I offer you Martinmas Day… a free massage session. But not for you. For someone you know who needs it but can’t afford it. Not someone who thinks they can’t afford it. Or won’t allow themselves to afford it. Someone who really can’t afford it, but really could use some kind-hearted therapeutic touch.
So if you know of someone who fits this bill, comment below with one simple thing almost anyone could do today to give to least of our brothers and sisters. I’ll take the first ten and choose a number at random. If yours is chosen, you will have a free massage to give. It’s a bit tricky - some people are a little afraid of massage. So try to pick someone who you think will actually come. Don’t know if this will work, but I’m excited to try!