At the close of the Jubilee of Mercy, the Pope has invited 6,000 people living on the streets on a pilgrimage to Rome. We encourage you to support them with your prayers from 3 – 11 November, with the novena to the Saint Martins!
The month of November is overflowing with Saint Martins – there are at least two and, by a happy coincidence, both are known for protecting the poor.
The best known in these climes is Saint Martin of Tours (316-397, celebrated on 11 November) a Roman soldier who cut his cloak in two to share with a beggar who, in fact, was Jesus himself, and thereby became an “Apostle of Charity”. The second, the patron saint of social justice, is none other than Saint Martin de Porrès (1579-1639, celebrated on 3 November); who is also the patron saint of black people as he was the son of an African slave. He is hugely popular in South America, where he hails from and had some rather surprising gifts. Indeed, he was known to communicate with animals, heal the sick, and to be seen in more than one place at a time preaching and helping the poor. This happened so often that the Prior of the Dominican convent in Lima where he served as a tertiary ordered him to stop working miracles because the crowds who flocked to see the saint prevented the friars in the order from going about their daily lives.
Fratello is an opportunity for the poorest and most vulnerable to live in a spirit of fraternity with other people, as equals. We therefore invite you to say a novena to the two Saint Martins, patron of the charitable and patron of the most humble, as of 3 November 2016.
“Our Lord God who so gloriously lifts the humble and generously rewards charity. Look upon us, bowed before you and glorify your humble Servants Martin de Porrès and Martin of Tours by answering our prayers.
We turn to you, our blessed brother Martin de Porrès, glorified before the throne of our Lord, throughout your life you were met with disapproval because of your origins, intercede for us the poor and humble, worthy of your commiseration.
We turn to you, our blessed brother Martin of Tours, who had the joy of wearing Christ himself who appeared to you as the beggar with whom you shared your cloak, intercede for us that we may be filled with the spirit of charity and sharing.
Give us these graces and guide each day the Fratello pilgrims and all those who support them. May we know one day the glory of Heaven where you praise the Lord in the company of his Angels and Saints for all eternity. Amen.”