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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Alejandro García-Rivera and St. Martin de Porres

I was sorry to hear that Alejandro García-Rivera, a professor at The Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, has passed away. For those interested, I have some past posts on him ... The Garden of God ... Alejandro Garcia-Rivera and others on Jon Sobrino's Christology ... Alejandro García-Rivera/Sandra Schneiders.

Today I wanted to post the beginning of an article he wrote for US Catholic earlier this year on St. Martin de Porres, his guide in a strange new land ......


Come together: St. Martin de Porres

One day I was home, a familiar comfortable place; the next day I was a stranger in a strange land. It was Nov. 3, 1960, the date of my exile from my home in Cuba. It was also the feast day of St. Martín de Porres, a Dominican friar from Peru. St. Martín, I now believe, was assigned to be my guide in this strange land, the United States.

Although not many English-speaking Catholics are familiar with St. Martín, he is one of the most popular saints in Latin America. St. Martín was the son of the white, blue-eyed hidalgo (a Spanish noble) Don Juan de Porres and the freed black slave Ana Velázquez. Born in Lima on Dec. 9, 1575, Martín also was born into a kind of exile. His own father would not acknowledge him as his son in public. The baptismal entry in the registry of the church of San Sebastian in Lima reads simply: "On Wednesday the ninth of November of 1579, I baptized Martín, son of an unknown father."

At the age of 16, Martín presented himself as donado to the Dominican friars of the Monastery of the Holy Rosary. Donados were members of the Third Order who received food and lodging for the work they did as lay helpers. In Spanish eyes this work was menial and not fit even for the lay brothers of the monastery .......



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess Martin had no clue about mice spreading germs and pooping/peeing on everything.
Charming, but I'd prefer to eat from another bowl.

1:22 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

After living with cats, dogs, and a rat, I've lost my anxiety about germs.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Online Editor said...


Thanks for linking to the article. Do you think you could just post a short selection from it instead of the whole thing, per fair use copyright? Feel free to email me at


7:26 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Yes, sorry ... I'll fix it.

11:41 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:44 AM  
Blogger tikacaqlla said...

hi crystal! i am studying some healing aspects on saint martin de porras. can you told me please, who has made this beautiful paint? thx!
pls. send to:

2:10 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Sorry - I just saw the image online in Google image search without any attribution. Now that I look again, I vcan't even find the place where it once was.

3:45 PM  

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