|(Statue of St. Martin de Porres at St. Vicnert Ferrer Parish, NYC)|
Today we Dominicans celebrate the memorial of St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639) – one of three Dominican saints who walked the streets of Lima, Peru in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - St. Rose of Lima and St. John Macias being the other two.
St. John XXIII canonized St. Martin on May 6, 1962.
There are a number of reasons why I have a great fondness for St. Martin de Porres.
He was a simple, humble and holy layman who initially refused the Dominican habit, not feeling worthy to wear it. After serving his Dominican brothers for nine years, as an act of obedience, he made his Solemn vows as a lay Dominican brother.
During his life, he joyfully fulfilled the most menial of tasks within and without the priory walls. He loved everyone and everything God created. Though he often suffered ridicule and discrimination because of his mixed race (even from some of his Dominican brothers), he harbored no resentment toward anyone. He had a deep and abiding love for the Blessed Sacrament and a bottomless fount of love and compassion for all those in need. He was known as “a wonder worker”.
I also have a more personal reason for revering this simple saintly quiet giant of our Church. When my twin sister was diagnosed with cancer more than two years ago, I placed her in the arms of my loving Lord and His Mother and then turned to St. Martin, seeking his intercession as well. I would stop and pray before his image at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in New York City (the image depicted above) whenever I visited Jane.
Her physical and spiritual struggles continue but I draw comfort from the fact that St. Martin de Torres and countless other souls continue to storm heaven on her behalf. She has much to be thankful for even amidst her current limitations and crosses.
You can learn more about St. Martin by reading two articles I had referenced in previous posts - St. Martin de Porres: 50 Years a Saint, a brief but informative article into the life of this humble servant of God, written by Father Thomas Schaefgen, O.P. in May of 2012, and - A Brother to His Brothers, posted a few years ago by Brother John Baptist Hoang, O.P.
Let me conclude by asking all who read this post to pray for the spiritual and physical well-being of my struggling sister Jane.
St. Martin, de Porres, St. Rose of Lima, St John Macias and all the Dominican Saints and Blesseds pray for Jane and for all of us!