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Panel 16 - Martin reveals the true identity of the unknown occupant of a shrine

According to chapter XI of Sulpicius, Martin became curious about a shrine nearby the town, which was concecrated to some martyr or other buried there, though nobody seemed quite sure who. Visiting the shrine, the newly appointed bishop saw the ghost of the tomb's occupant and quizzed him as to his identity. The spirit, who Martin's companions could hear but not see, confessed that he had been a robber, executed for his crimes and dumped in this lonely spot, where his headless corpse had been found by foolish and gullible people, who assumed it to be the body of a Christian martyr. Having thus discovered the martyrium's real occupant, Martin had it removed, to prevent further misunderstandings. Theologically, the episode serves to illustrate the distinction between right and wrong approaches to venerating saints - the error of the superstitious crowd who erected the shrine without knowing who it was for, and Martin's pious uncovering of the truth.

The artist has shown Martin commanding the thief's ghost to reveal his true identity. One of Martin's companions carries a holy water bucket (situla) and sprinkler (asperge), with which they were presumably planning to bless the shrine.