One wintry day, young Martin, who was a Roman soldier, met a shivering beggar in the street. He cut his cape in two and giving half to the man. That night in a dream St. Martin saw Jesus wearing it and heard him say, “Martin is still only a soldier, but has covered me with this garment.” Very surprised by that dream, soon afterward Martin presented himself for baptism. Martin was renowned as a miracle worker, performing many cures and even raising a dead man. Once, for example, he healed St. Paulinus of Nola’s eye by touching it lightly with a fine paintbrush. Martin died on November 11, AD 397. He had a very good reputation and because of it he became one of the most admired saints of the Middle Ages.
The parish church of Baħrija is dedicated to Saint Martin and on his feast day, there is the tradition of the Borza – a small cloth bag which is full of nuts, fruit and some sweets. This bagi s given to all children who happily sing:
Ġewż, lewż, qastan tin
Kemm inħobbu ‘l San Martin!