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If the explanation of the "kapellekes" (or small "chapels") along the Flemish wayside does not give satisfaction, there is still the well known story of saint Martin, the former Roman soldier on his horse, who at the town gate of tours (in France), cut half of his mantle ("cappa") and gave it to a frozen beggar. The Roman soldier would later become the bishop of tours. Martinus already was declared a saint in the Vth century (he is the titular saint of a majority of churches and parishes in Belgium (probably more than 50%) and (the rest of) his "cappa" for a very long time was considered as a relic.

In times of war, the relic went to battle with the soldiers. The persons who had the task and honor to take care of this precious half of a mantle were called "cappelani" (or "chaplains" in English, "chaplains" in French and "kapelanen" in Dutch). They kept the relic in a tent called "capelle" throughout the centuries, the word "capelle" or "cappelle" was synonymous with small buildings where divine services were celebrated.
there is no doubt that the variant of "cappelle", in this case "capelleman" or "Cappelleman", meant the chaplain or supervisor of a chapel, or also subsheperd of sheperd of a subparish or parish. In French, we have then the word "chapelain", in English "chaplin" and in German "kaplan"
by big history book August 09, 2011

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