THE HATED Samaritan was the hero of Christ’s parable; hated outcasts have been Christian heroes through all the ages of the Church. Some have been officially recognized by the Church as saints.

SAINT BENEDICT THE MOOR (1526-1589), son of Negro slaves, was born at San Fradello near Messina, Sicily. By the age of 10 he was already being called “the holy Moor.” About the age of 21 he joined, and later became the superior of a group of solitaries who were living according to the spirit of Saint Francis. When this group chose to join the Franciscans, Benedict became a simple lay-brother. Though lacking in education, he again became a superior, and later a novice master.  Before his death, at the age of 63, he had gone back to humbler tasks­ working in the monastery kitchen.

SAINT MARTIN DE PORRES (1569-1639) was born in Lima, Peru, of a Spanish knight, John de Porres, and an Indian woman from Panama. Having inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother, this half-caste son was so distasteful to his own father that the boy was eventually turned away from home. For a time Martin earned his living as a barber-surgeon. Then, having joined the Third Order of Saint Dominic in Lima, he was put in charge of the monastery infirmary. His care of the sick extended far beyond its walls; it was due to his efforts that an orphanage and foundling hospital were set up in the city. Along with these tasks, he served the poor who came to the monastery daily and cared for the Negro slaves, who had been brought to Peru from Africa. Martin died in Lima on November 3, 1639, and was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI in 1837, Canonized By: in 1962 by Pope John XXIII

Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today”  The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959.   © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953.  Print.  Drawing by Albert H Winkler.

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