Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism

"Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

St. Martin de Porres
and the Mice

St. Martin de Porres (December 9, 1579 – November 3, 1639) was a Third Order Dominican who served the Lord in Peru. A very holy man, he focused on caring for the poor, establishing an orphanage and a hospital for children, for which he was rewarded with the supernatural gifts of bilocation, the ability to know things beyond the powers of man, healing, and levitation.

But it's his way with God's creatures that makes his story relevant to this section of the website: he was what would be called these days an "animal whisperer," much in the way St. Francis was.

One day, some o
f his fellow Dominicans, novices, brought two bulls to the monastery. When they began to fight, St. Martin had a little talk with the beasts, telling them to behave themselves. He brought food to them, and asked the older bull to allow the younger bull to have his fill first. The bull obeyed -- and even kissed St. Martin's habit.

It's the story of St. Martin and the mice, though, that is most famous. The monastery became overrun with them, which caused a lot of damage. Mice, being rodents, must chew, chew, chew in order to keep their teeth from growing so large that they become unable to eat. In response, St. Martin held a meeting with the furry little creatures, beckoning them to the garden, where they met him as a group. He told the hundreds of gathered mice that if they remained outdoors, he would care for them. And like the bulls, they, too, obeyed.

Note: There is a book for children, first published in the 1960s, about the story of St. Martin and his mice friends. It's entitled,  "Saint Martin de Porres and the Mice," and you can find it at Amazon (link will open in new browser window).

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