|St. Martin de Porres statue at|
San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca
Photo by Claire & Richard Strike
Born in Lima, Peru, Martin became a Dominican lay brother when he was only 15 years old. He served as a barber, farmer, and medical assistant. What he really wanted to do was to go on foreign missions and to die for Jesus, but that wasn’t possible. He was so full of faith and humility, that God used him in powerful ways. He helped many sick people, and he even received knowledge about people’s secrets from God, so that he could help them seek forgiveness. He also had a gift called bilocation. Once a merchant from Lima who had traveled to Mexico, cried out, “Oh, Brother Martin, if only you were here to care for me!” At that moment, the man saw Martin enter his room to help him. But Martin never left Peru. This is called “bilocation”, or being in two places at once, and it happened to Martin several times.
A person has to be very, very holy in order to receive a gift like bilocation. Only a handful of saints have ever been blessed in that way! Today, you can play a special game of “bilocation” hide and seek. One child takes two prayer cards or printed pictures of Saint Martin de Porres and hides them in two different places in the room. Then, the other children seek for the pictures.