Saint Martin/Polish Independence Day

 11 November is St. Martin's Day

and in Poland it's also the Independence Day.

 

 

 

 

   National Independence Day   

 

(PolishNarodowe Święto Niepodległości)

 

is a public holiday in Poland celebrated every year on 11 November 

 

to commemorate the anniversary of Poland's assumption of independent statehood in 1918

 

after 123 years of partition by RussiaPrussia and Austria.

 

Here are Polish national symbols:

 

Polish coat of arms / emblem:

 

Polish flag:

 

Polish national anthem:

 

Here's the video presenting our students during the Independence Day assembly:

 

   


 by Justyna Łęska and the Polish team from Częstochowa 

 

 

St. Martin

Martin was born in the year 316, in Pannonia, which is nowadays a part of Hungary. From the early age of 10, Martin was attracted towards Christianity. He used to go to a nearby church to learn about Christ.

 

Martin’s father was a soldier and at the tender age of fifteen, he Martin was made a soldier too. Even though he did his job well, Martin tried to live the Christian religion, day and night.

 

One very cold day, while Martin was riding his horse, he met a shivering and half-naked beggar. Moved with compassion, he divided his coat into two parts and gave one part to the poor man. The part kept by himself became the famous ‘St. Martin's cloak’.

 

That night Martin dreamt that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised, he has clothed me."

 

A little while after this, Martin received baptism and was never afraid to show his faith in Christ. Soon after, he was freed from Military service. Martin left to a deserted region and led a solitary life. 

 

His example was soon followed, and a great number of monks gathered around him. A new monastery was formed. They led a quiet and simple life absorbed in prayers.

 

Martin impressed his superiors and was later made the bishop of a city called Tours, in France. Through simplicity Martin succeeded in sowing Christianity all around him.

 

Instead of living in a bishop’s palace Martin chose to live in a cell inside a small church. He used to preach about Christ, visit homes and spread the word of God.

 

He died at the age of 80. We celebrate his feast on the 11th of November. Saint Martin is known as the patron saint of soldiers, well-known for his charity towards the poor.

 

 

 

Malta

A Maltese "Borża ta' San Martin"

St. Martin's Day (Jum San Martin in Maltese) is celebrated in Malta on the Sunday nearest to November 11. Children are given a bag full of fruits and sweets associated with the feast, known by the Maltese as Il-Borża ta' San Martin, "St Martin's bag". This bag would include walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, chestnuts, dried or processed figs, seasonal fruit (like oranges, tangerines, apples and pomegranates) and "Saint Martin's bread roll" (Maltese:Ħobża ta' San Martin).

There is a traditional rhyme associated with this custom:

Ġewż, Lewż, Qastan, Tin
Kemm inħobbu lil San Martin.
(Walnuts, Almonds, Chestnuts, Figs
I love Saint Martin so much.)

A feast is celebrated in the village of Baħrija on the outskirts of Rabat (Malta), including a procession led by the statue of Saint Martin. There is also a fair, and a show for local animals. San Anton School, a private school on the island, organises a walk to and from a cave especially associated with Martin in remembrance of the day.

A number of places in Malta are named after this saint, including San Martin on the outskirts of St. Paul's Bay, and Ġebel San Martin outside of Żejtun.