Friday, November 2, 2012

St. Mulatto Dog

November 3 is the Feast Day of St. Martin de Porres.  Martin is a wonderful saint.  He is the Dominican version of St. Francis, except he's not as crazy.  He was very, very humble.  As the illegitimate son of a black/Indian/white union, he was considered a mulatto.  At that time, seventeenth century, race was a criteria for social strata.  Martin was on the bottom.

Stories abound about him.  He had the gift of healing, bilocation, prophecy, and humility.  He is often pictured with rats around his feet and a broom in his hand.  The broom to designate his station in life.  The rats because he communed with them.

My favorite story is when a priest was in a foul mood and became angry at Martin and called him a Mulatto Dog!  That would have been insulting, offensive words to start a fight.  But not to Martin.  He welcomed insults because Jesus was insulted, too.  Insults were opportunities to unite himself to Jesus.    Martin was very kind to the priest and won him over.  It helped that he cured him.  ;-)

Martin de Porres was the first black saint in the Americas.

It's the Culture

What's the difference between then and now?  Most think technological differences, but I contend it's cultural differences.  And...