A Chasuble for Martinmas (St. Martin's Day)

A few years ago we spoke about the Customs of Martinmas -- the name given to the Feast of St. Martin of Tours which we observe today.  St. Martin was a Roman soldier who would become a bishop and as such he is frequently portrayed as a soldier on horseback, giving up his half of his soldiers cloak to a poor beggar in the midst of winter. 

Painting of St. Martin by El Greco

St. Martin was the subject of great devotion in Europe, particularly northern Europe it would seem and various customs and traditions rose up around this feast day -- which was even, at one time, used as a kind of sign-post to begin the countdown to the great feast of the Nativity.  It should come as no surprise then that we might find a chasuble which is specifically devoted to St. Martin, in this particular instance in the possession of the church of Saint-Martin de Champigny in Yonne, France who has the saint as its patron.

The chasuble in question includes a beautiful embroidered orphrey done in the shape of a Parisian cross which includes the image of St. Martin as its the primary focus, depicted as he traditionally is. 

While the chasuble itself is dated to the 18th century, my assumption would be that the orphrey pre-dates this period -- perhaps dating to the 16th or 17th century -- given both the character and style of the embroidered figures and also the fact that the figures on the lower part of the orphrey seem to likely have been cut short as so often happened when earlier orphreys were repurposed onto later chasuble shapes -- but this is purely speculation on my part. 

The lower portion of the orphrey shows images of St. Peter and possibly further images of St. Martin himself though it is difficult to tell. 

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