Spanish colonizers had a tradition of blessing each new conquest by assigning a patron saint from their Catholic tradition. In Buenos Aires, this event took place on the 20th of October of 1580. The story goes that Juan de Garay and the first members of the cabildo (the government of the viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata) gathered on this day to pick the patron saint. When San Martín de Tours was chosen randomly from a group of names pulled from a hat the neighbors objected because he had a French name so the procedure was carried out again. San Martin de Tours was randomly picked three times from the hat and so it was finally accepted as an act of God. Every 11th of November the patron saint of Buenos Aires is remembered.
This Sunday, at the Avenida de Mayo, there will be a special celebration to commemorate this historical figure. The event will feature a historic recreation of Colonial Buenos Aires and will include a screening about the history of San Martin de Tours, different parades and artistic events and a mass at the Buenos Aires cathedral starting at 4.30pm.