Today is the commemoration of St Martin de Porres, a Dominican friar, born in Lima, Peru in 1579, of a Spanish nobleman and a freed African slave. Because of his care for all regardless of class or colour he is considered the patron saint of race relations and social justice. Perhaps a fitting saint to be celebrated on this election day in the USA.
There are many US citizens who live and work in this diocese (including a number of our clergy). Almost all I have spoken to have eagerly taken advantage of mail-in voting and have exercised their democratic right. We pray today for the USA, in the words of a collect from the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church:
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and the nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In another connection with our circumstances today, St Martin de Porres, during an epidemic in Lima, broke the rules of the convent to minister and care for the sick who were kept behind locked doors. He was disciplined by superiors, but responded: "Forgive my error, and please instruct me, for I did not know that the precept of obedience took precedence over that of charity"
The Archdeaconry of Gibraltar is twinned with the Anglican Diocese of Peru.
St Martin de Porres died on this day in 1639.
God, you aroused in Martin de Porres a sense of Christian social conscience to help the poor and needy. Let this same sense of social justice flourish in us, in our nations, and in our world today, to bring about a new rebirth of hope.