Each month at Our Lady of Sorrows is dedicated to a particular saint (generally chosen from the month) and virtue (generally taken from the fruits of the Spirit—Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Corinthians 6:6, Ephesians 5:9, and 2 Peter 1:5-7). The saint and virtue are incorporated into our morning prayer, religion bulletin boards, and religion classes. This focus on one saint and one virtue complements our Words of Wisdom, and serves as a supplement to our religion curriculum. This month we focus on St. Martin de Porres and the virtue of Generosity.
St. Martin was born in 1579 at Lima, Peru. He was born into impoverished circumstances as his father left his mother after his sister was born. He started working at the age of 12 to help support his family. At the age of 15 he asked to be taken in as a lay brother of the Dominican order, not feeling himself worthy to be a full religious brother.
Once in the order he spent many of his nights praying and doing penance, while his days were spent nursing the sick, caring for the poor, feeding the hungry, and even taking care of pets and homeless animals. His love and care extended to everyone, regardless of skin color, race, status or privilege.
St. Martin called himself a “poor slave” until the end of his life, even though he became the spiritual director of many of his fellow religious. To this day he is loved as the patron saint of African-Americans, race relations and social justice, among others.
Our virtue for the month is generosity. St. Martin is a perfect example of this, as he gave of his time, talents and resources to help as many people as he could. In our families we are challenged to be generous with patience, forgiveness, understanding and time. In our community we are challenged to be generous to individuals and institutions who need our help to help others. And in our personal life we are challenged to be generous to every individual who crosses our path, imitating Jesus is giving all that is asked of us for the greater glory of God and for the building up of the body of Christ.
Blessings & Peace,
Hugo De La Rosa III