In the footsteps of St. Martin – a legend and reality

21 May 2018 | Szombathely (Hungary)

In the footsteps of St. Martin – a legend and reality – is the title of a series of lectures launched by the Savaria Museum in Szombathely. The most famous son of Savaria, St. Martin who later became the bishop of Tours is the main character of numerous local legends in Szombathely even today. The course of lectures follows these colourful stories. It investigates them and compares them with the remained authentic written sources and the available archaeological finds. Besides knowledge transfer, the primary objective of the course organised by the St. Martin Institute established last year was data collection for the creation of a really authentic St. Martin image.

As we know from St. Martin’s biography, Martin returned to Savaria mainly in order to evangelize his parents. He was partly successful to do so, as he converted his mother, however, his veteran father remained in his previous faith. This detail is highlighted in the scene where – according to the legend - Martin baptises his mother. But did he have the right at all to baptise? And this at a simple well? These are examples of questions which the experts of the course are elaborating.

The legendary events referred to in the lectures might have all happened in the area of today’s St. Martin’s Church. Martin came into the world in the house that had been standing there and he returned there to his elderly parents. He even baptised his mother at the well in the courtyard of their house.