For centuries St. Martin de Porres has held a broom in religious images to emphasize his humility. Since there are so few canonized Black saints, emphasizing his humility at the expense of his other accomplishments has deprived Black Catholics, and especially children, of the positive role model he might be in their lives today. Brother Robert has painted St. Martin several times, once distributing bread to the poor, another time as a skilled healer, and in this image as a peacemaker. Cats, dogs, mice, and other animals lived peacefully in Martin’s presence. He helped bring the same peace to the troubled people of Lima in his day.

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