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Panel 03 - In a dream, Christ thanks Martin and returns his cloak
Description:

In the less well-known conclusion to the scene shown in panel 1, Christ appears to St Martin that same night, thanking him for his act of charity and returning to him the half of his cloak that he had given to the beggar. In the morning Martin awakes to find his cloak intact.

Sulpicius describes the vision of Christ but not the return of the cloak, which may come from a lost source or may be the invention of the artist, inspired by examples from other saints' lives. This hagiographic topos of the charitable gift returned to the giver by Christ Himself, also features, for example, in the vita of England's original royal saint, Edward the Confessor. There the charitable gift is a ring, which became St Edward's standard attribute in works such as the Wilton Diptych and the Westminster Retable.