Image by Félix Hernández, OP. Used with permission;
St. Martin De Porres, OP, a mulatto abandoned with his mother and younger sister by his Spanish father in 16th century Peru, grew up poor and marginalized. He gave himself as a volunteer [donado] to the Dominican community in Lima and was eventually invited to join the order as a brother, against the rules and legal restrictions of the day. Known for his extraordinary, miraculous care for the poor and ill, his ministry and renown broke through all social, racial and cultural barriers. He is the patron saint of interracial justice. As such, Dominicans need to hold him up today as a guide against the racial discrimination, hatred and violence, as well as the too often unconscious white privilege baked into the social and cultural structures and ongoing life in the U.S. of the 21st century. May the public resurgence of this hateful core sin at the foundations of our culture be the occasion for its more thorough eradication and the growth of understanding and love in the one family of humanity. St. Martin De Porres, open our eyes, guide us, and give us the courage for reconciling love.
Saint Martin’s feast is celebrated on November 3rd.