Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli: Tireless and Charitable

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In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli’s description of Martin de Porres.

“He was tireless in his efforts to reform the criminal, and he would sit up with the sick to bring them comfort. For the poor he would provide food, clothing, and medicine. He did all he could to care for poor farmhands, blacks, and mulattoes who were looked down upon as slaves, the dregs of society in their time. Common people responded by calling him “Martin the charitable.”

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (1881-1963) in Martin de Porres as recounted Milton Walsh in Witness of the Saints: Patristic Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012) 558.

Roncalli’s description of Martin de Porres, a Peruvian lay brother of the Dominican order, caught my attention when reading Witness of the Saints. My favorite part links to the assessment of common people.

For his tireless efforts he was labeled as “charitable” by ordinary folk.

The Dominicans have devoted themselves to preaching the gospel and opposing heresy for centuries. As this must be done in actions and words, Roncalli believed that Martin provided a model for us in his day.

Serve the sick, care for the poor, and lift up the dregs of society.

I posted this today because in reflecting on my day off, I what common people would say about me. What words would those who are looked down upon use to describe you?

Let’s live the words we want the common and outcast people to say about us.

If we do, we will follow in the footsteps of the Paul who modeled the way for the Ephesian elders and for us in tirelessly helping the weak and living generously.