A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
San Martín de Porres (St Martin de Porres OP, Martin of Charity, Saint of the Broom) (1579-1639). Feast Day commemorating the death of the Peruvian lay brother of the Dominican Order, born in Lima the poor illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed slave of African and indigenous descent. Although learning the medical art, he spent the hours of the night in prayer but as a descendant of Africans and Native Americans he could not be a full member of a religious order. Accepted as a Dominican donado (volunteer) in Lima, he performed menial monastery tasks as a servant and then almoner. After eight years, the Prior permitted him to take his vows as a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic and at 24, as a Dominican lay brother, he worked in the infirmary until his death. Locked in the convent during an epidemic, he passed through the locked doors to care for the sick brothers and took them to his sister’s house in the country, saying that he did not know that the precept of obedience took precedence over that of charity. Martin performed many miraculous cures and had a remarkable rapport with animals. Noted for his work on behalf of the poor, he founded a children’s hospital and a residence for orphans and abandoned children in Lima. Martin died on 3 November 1639 in Lima. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, in the Lutheran Church as a renewer of society and in the Anglican Communion. Major shrine Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo, Lima. Patron of Peru, Mexico, Vietnam, Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, those seeking racial harmony, black and mixed-race people, race relations, social justice, poor people, hair stylists, innkeepers, barbers, public health workers, lottery winners, public education, public and state schools, television, Peruvian Naval Aviators. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.
Kali Chaudas (Narak Chaturdashi, Choti Diwali). Part of the festival of Diwali (Deepawali) on the day before Diwali Puja (homage). It is said to be the day on which Krishna liberated sixteen thousand women who had been imprisoned by a demon. Upon being freed, they all wished to marry Krishna, and so he permitted this, to prove that God fulfils our desires, especially when the desire is a longing for God. Coinciding with Kali Chaudas is Hanuman Puja, when it is believed that the evil spirits are most powerful during the night and Lord Hanuman is worshipped to seek strength, power and the protection from them. Another legend is that, when on Diwali Lord Rama returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after defeating the demon Ravana and completing His fourteen years of exile, the devotion and dedication of Hanuman pleased Him so much that He blessed Hanuman. Believers now worship Hanuman on this day, which is observed as Shri Hanuman Jayanti at the Hanumangarhi (हनुमानगढ़ी) temple in Ayodhya on the banks of holy river Saryu in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. However, most believers in North India celebrate Hanuman Jayanti on Chaitra Purnima, which will be on 16 April 2022. In preparation for Diwali, people start decorating their homes and many families put up strings of lights and start creating their rangoli, an intricate design placed on the floors of homes. Image: mkstatus.com.
Notre-dame de Rennes (Our Lady of Rennes). In Brittany in 1357, the invading English planted a mine to blow up the capital Rennes and the chapel candles miraculously lighted, the bells rang by themselves and the image of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Miracles, Virtues and Succour, was seen to stretch out its arms towards the middle of the church where the mine was laid, so that it was discovered. The people rushed to the spot, the plot was foiled and the entire town saved through the intervention of Our Lady of Rennes, with great rejoicing and deep gratitude from the people. The original Gothic church partially collapsed in 1682, before in 1684 St Louis de Montfort decided to become a Jesuit priest there. The Classical-style Basilica of St Sauveur was built in the early-Eighteenth Century but during the French Revolution it was made a Temple of Reason and the miraculous statue was destroyed. In 1802, after the end of the Terror, the church was reopened for worship and the present statue is from 1876. Many miracles are attributed to Our Lady of Rennes, including the Easter Sunday 1762 miraculous healing of the gangrene of Magdalene Morice. Image: commons.wikimedia.org.
Prayer God our Father, You gave joy to the world by the Resurrection of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the prayers of his Mother the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Rennes, bring us to the happiness of eternal life. We ask this through Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen