Thursday, November 3, 2011

St. Martin de Porres: Dyeing and Rising

St. Martin: Walk ins are welcome!
St. Martin de Porres is the saint of the day. He was the son of a Spanish nobleman and a black servant woman. His father left him when he was a child and he grew up in poverty.

He found he had some skills in being a barber so he helped the local barbers in Lima, where he grew up. Like many barbers, beauticians, stylists and whatever else they call themselves, he was expected to be a good listener and offer advice to his clients. He, the history goes, was good at this as well. For this, he is also the patron saint of hairdressers and barbers (and whatever-icianologists they call themselves!). You can even see his statue in some barber shops and salons. Even in Oxford!

He later joined the Dominicans as a layman and later, with some resistance due to his skin color, became a priest. He loved the Eucharist and the poor. He would offer his bed, floor and the halls of the monastery to the sick and aged. This also was met with some resistance so he inspired homes for troubled and homeless youth and care centers for the sick.

He's depicted in art sometimes with a broom, because he saw no task as unimportant or unholy. There also sometimes are a mouse, cat and dog eating from one dish at his feet due to his care for the smallest of creatures and being an advocate of peace.

If you get your hair did today, wish your stylist or whatever a "Happy St. Martin's Day!"