Fifty years after St. Martin de Porres was canonized, two Peruvian priests from the Convent of St. Dominic in Lima where the 16th century saint lived, praised his many contributions to the Church.
“His example of intimacy with God and holiness that he left us shines clearly in his virtues, such as his great humility and charity with those most in need,” Father Javier Abanto Silva, director of Radio Santa Rosa, told CNA April 20.
“For us Dominicans, for us Peruvians and for all those who are devoted to this saint, he is an example for our spiritual and Christian life and for our family life as well,” he said.
Father Juan Anguerri, director of the St. Martin de Porres Home for the Poor, called the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the saint’s canonization an opportunity to reflect on his example of Christian life, inspired by his intense love for the Virgin Mary and the Eucharist.
He noted that St. Martin’s Dominican brothers “would often find him levitating in intense prayer and embracing the crucified Cross that presided over the convent Chapter Hall.”
“'I cure them, but God heals them,' Martin would say when curing the sick, and he always preached that 'fullness of health comes from God.'”
Fr. Anguerri noted that St. Martin de Porres was known for the various assignments he carried out and which earned him the title of patron saint of barbers, the sick and street cleaners.
“These are often thankless tasks, but yet through his humble service, St. Martin sent a message to revitalize these jobs,” Father Anguerri said.
He also emphasized that St. Martin symbolizes reconciliation among different ethnicities.
“As an illegitimate son, he represents reconciliation because with joy and peace he embraced his mixed black and white heritage, and he held no grudge over his abandonment. He displayed his father’s religious inclination, and for this reason Pope Pius XII proclaimed him Patron Saint of Social Justice.”
Fr. Abanto added that families should follow the example of St. Martin by “embracing humility, by learning to love and to bring together the dog, the mouse and the cat, that is, to solve family problems through dialogue and not through anger or lack of affection.”
The saint “simply gave of himself, because he was interested in serving and not in showing off to others.”