Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) – In front of a record-breakingly large red Martinsmantel made of hundreds of pieces of fabric, the Catholic Day celebrated one of its central services in the open air on Thursday morning. According to the church, the mosaic made of pieces of fabric from church communities and associations, kindergartens and schools in the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart has a size of around 240 square meters, divided into three meters wide and 80 meters long. It leads from the stage in front of the New Palace in Stuttgart to the altar of the service.

At the closing service on Sunday, the cloak is to be shared again and given away – based on Saint Martin as the diocesan patron and the motto of the Catholic Day “sharing life”. A leathersmith had previously assembled the approximately 1,100 pieces of fabric that had been cut to fit. They were designed and sent in by children and young people.

Saint Martin lived in the 4th century and is considered the patron saint of the poor. He is said to have cut his soldier’s cloak in two with his sword and given one half to a freezing beggar.

The Catholic Day with 1500 events is taking place again for the first time in four years. However, much fewer participants than usual are expected by Sunday, around 25,000. The vast majority of meetings and activities take place in downtown Stuttgart.