Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saint Martin de Porres - Peruvian saint of Slaves & Mullatos


As a young boy of 8 years old, in the early 1960s, I came under the influence of an old German nun, who cared for me for a couple of years as my single mother could not. This nun had a great spiritual affection for a Mullato saint from Peru, by the name of Martin de Porres.

Saint Martin was the patron saint of Mullatos and Slaves. He was the son of an African slave who had a short relationship with a Spanish soldier in Columbia. Martin was abandoned into a Dominican monastery and grew up to dedicate his life to serving the needs of the slaves and the poor of Lima in Peru.

As a child growing up in Apartheid South Africa it was both strange and pleasing to see this German nun daily kneeling before this black man’s statue and asking for his advice and guidance in her own life.

This set me off at an early age to find out as much as I could about slavery and our own connections to the slave era here in Cape Town.

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