Blessed Assistance by Anthony Esolen

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Blessed Assistance

Anthony Esolen on the Un-humanitarian Charity of Martin de Porres

Brother Martin," writes the biographer of St. Martin de Porres, a Peruvian mulatto who lived during the seventeenth century, shortly after the conquistadores had done their ruthless and efficient work, "was no philanthropist, no humanitarian."

That sentence is, I think, a shibboleth: no one but a Christian would understand it. For the biographer, J. C. Kearns, O.P., has just spent many pages describing Martin's vigor in assisting the sick and the poor of Lima. Early in life, he had learned . . .