‘The example of Martin’s life is ample evidence that we can strive for holiness and salvation as Christ Jesus has shown us: first, by loving God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; and second, by loving your neighbour as yourself”.
When Martin had come to realise that Christ Jesus suffered for us and that he carried our sins on his body to the cross, he would meditate with remarkable ardour and affection about Christ on the cross. Whenever he would contemplate Christ’s terrible torture he would be reduced to tears. He had an exceptional love for the great sacrament of the Eucharist and often spent long hours in prayer before the blessed sacrament. His desire was to receive the sacrament in communion as often as he could.
Saint Martin, always obedient and inspired by his divine teacher, dealt with his brothers with that profound love which comes from pure faith and humility of spirit. He loved men because he honestly looked on them as God’s children and as his own brothers and sisters. Such was his humility that he loved them even more than himself and considered them to be better and more righteous than he was.
He excused the faults of others. He forgave the bitterest injuries, convinced that he deserved much severer punishments on account of his own sins. He tried with all his might to redeem the guilty; lovingly he comforted the sick; he provided food, clothing and medicine for the poor; he helped, as best he could, farm labourers and Negroes, as well as mulattoes, who were looked upon at that time as akin to slaves: thus he deserved to be called by the name the people gave him: ‘Martin of Charity’”.
from the homily at the canonisation Mass of St Martin de Porres by Pope St John XXIII, 1881-1963
O God, who didst lead Saint Martin de Porres by the way of humility to heavenly glory:
grant that we may so follow the example of his holiness; that we may be worthy to be exalted with him to heaven;
through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Divine Worship: The Missal
Fr Lee Kenyon
Priest, Husband, Father, Lancastrian, Mancunian