Martin von Tours (316-397), who was later canonized, is venerated as a wine saint in many countries and wine-growing regions. He was born as the son of a Roman tribune in Sabaria, today's Szombathely in Hungary, and came to the province of Gaul as a soldier at the age of 15. At the age of 18 he was baptized and resigned from the army. He spent over 25 years as a hermit in Pannonia and then returned to Poitiers (capital of the Vienne, Loire department). It was here that the often told legend occurred that he shared his cloak with a beggar (the picture on the left is by the painter El Greco). When he was to be elected bishop, he hid in a goose house (because he did not feel called), but the cackling of the geese betrayed him. The custom of eating a roasted goose with Martini is attributed to this.
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