San Martin Caballero
St. Martin approached and saw the man shivering. A young soldier, he had no money and nothing else to share. So he took off his uniform cloak and used his weapon to slice it down the middle. Half he gave to the poor man, and half he wore back to his barracks.
Asleep that night, St. Martin dreamed that he saw Christ wearing the half-cloak with which he had clothed the poor man.
The meaning of the story is clear and bound up in the parable of judgment Jesus tells in St. Matthew’s Gospel: “Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you … naked and clothe you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’ ”
Saint Martin Caballero is especially popular among shopkeepers, who rely on the kindness of passing strangers for their livelihood, and among truck, taxi, and bus drivers, who see in his horsemanship a parallel to their own manner of earning a living. Because the horse he rides is associated with the lucky horseshoe, he is also a favorite saint among gamblers, just about everywhere. While visiting Cuba four years ago, I witnessed SOME Santeros identify him with the Orisha Elegua, probably because the latter is associated with crossroads and hence with travel.