Today is the Feast of our Dominican Brother, Saint Martin de Porres (December 9, 1579 – November 3, 1639). He is known for his care for the poor and vulnerable, and care of the sick. Many are the reports of his gift of healing, and he was skilled in the art of healing herbs. Animals loved Martin, and he they; they were comfortable in one another’s presence.
Though the priests of the Order were far more educated then he, Martin continually taught his brothers through example how Jesus taught us to value one another.
It was recalled by his prior that once when Martin was punished for picking up a destitute elderly beggar and placing him in his own bed at the monastery, Saint Martin went humbly to his superior and asked for forgiveness. He said that he didn’t know that obedience took precedence over charity.
He said, “Compassion is preferable to cleanliness. Reflect that with a little soap I can easily clean my bed covers, but even with a torrent of tears I would never wash from my soul the stain that my harshness toward the unfortunate would create.”
Saint Martin is one whose life was a preaching, and when necessary, he could add the right words.