Sunday, 10 November 2013

day-trip: good for the goose, good for the gander

Over the weekend, we had the chance to re-visit the millennium-old cathedral of Mainz (Mainzer Dom) and walk the aisles. The bishopric itself, never an independent suffragan and surrounded by other competitive dioceses, saw its elevation due to the industry of Johannes Gensfleisch (the Latin Gens transformed in the German Sippe, a clan, but to my ears, like the German word for goosebumps, Gansehaut) zur Laden Gutenberg and his printed-word, complementing the established craft of the city in linen and textile printing.
Coincidentally, we visited on the Feast Day of St. Martin, to whom the grand cathedral was dedicated, built in hopes of establishing itself as a Holy See. Saint Martin of Tours, one of the first famed contentious objectors and reluctant to be honoured for his stance, was betrayed by a gaggle of friendly geese, whom gave away his hiding spot to the fellow-priests who wanted him as their leader. Because of this, it is traditional to feast on a goose in Germany on St. Martin's Day.