Martin of Tours was a pastor who was martyred for his faith on this day in 397. Also on this day in 655, Martin of Umbria was martyred during the great Monothelite controversy. Both men demonstrated perseverance in the face of political persecution, personal humiliation, torture, starvation, and eventually, death, made them models of faith during the early medieval period.
According to legend, Martin of Tours once cut his own coat in half to share it with a beggar. Part of the cloak was saved and considered a holy relic in France, with monarchs going so far as to carry it into battle. The cloak was kept in a “chapelle,” from the French word “chape,” meaning “cape,” and its overseer was the "chapelain", from which, of course, we get our words "chapel" and "chaplain".