Since 2015 I've been the St. Martin's actor for the Bonn Minster community. I will ride in the 25 kilo armor of a Roman officer with helmet, sword and of course the cloak in the great Martin procession on horseback, share the cloak and be seen at the Martin fire as a bishop.
But that is only a small part of the tasks: Saint Martin visits several schools, kindergartens, hospitals and old people's homes in advance. The reactions of the addressees of the visits, on the other hand, cannot always be planned, and spontaneity is often required. I was enthusiastically greeted as Saint Nicholas by a dementia residential group, and in a kindergarten the teacher introduced me as Santa Claus.
There are special challenges in the hospital: seriously ill children are often not allowed to have an alarm clock for medical or hygienic reasons. That's why I always have picture books with me that tell the story of Saint Martin. In the university children's clinic we even do a little Martin's procession through the hospital, committed green ladies make lanterns for the patients and provide musical accompaniment.
Small children sometimes find it threatening when a "big stranger" enters the room in strange clothing, which is why Martin always asks for a seat in advance - communication at eye level makes a lot easier.
And Saint Martin the Jedi Knight? The unexpected definition of a four-year-old threw me off the hook during what seemed like an easy visit to a group. After a moment of shock, I was able to save myself: In the Star Wars trilogy, several Jedis live in caves - just like Martin as a hermit and bishop. Via this slightly bumpy detour I ended up with the Martin story.