A fabulous old PROCESSIONAL Banner depicted Saint Martin de Porres to one side and Saint John Macias to the other. The banner measures 48" x 29" so is quite a large piece and we believe dates to Circa 1900. There are some minor faults as can be expected for a piece like this of around 100 years old.
St. Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru on December 9, 1579. Martin was the illegitimate son to a Spanish gentlemen and a freed slave from Panama, of African or possibly Native American descent. At a young age, Martin's father abandoned him, his mother and his younger sister, leaving Martin to grow up in deep poverty. After spending just two years in primary school, Martin was placed with a barber/surgeon where he would learn to cut hair and the medical arts.
As Martin grew older, he experienced a great deal of ridicule for being of mixed-race. In Peru, by law, all descendants of African or Indians were not allowed to become full members of religious orders. Martin, who spent long hours in prayer, found his only way into the community he longed for was to ask the Dominicans of Holy Rosary Priory in Lima to accept him as a volunteer who performed the most menial tasks in the monastery. In return, he would be allowed to wear the habit and live within the religious community. When Martin was 15, he asked for admission into the Dominican Convent of the Rosary in Lima and was received as a servant boy and eventually was moved up to the church officer in charge of distributing money to deserving poor.During his time in the Convent, Martin took on his old trades of barbering and healing. He also worked in the kitchen, did laundry and cleaned. After eight more years with the Holy Rosary, Martin was granted the privilege to take his vows as a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic by the prior Juan de Lorenzana who decided to disregard the law restricting Martin based on race.
However, not all of the members in the Holy Rosary were as open-minded as Lorenzana; Martin was called horrible names and mocked for being illegitimate and descending from slaves.
Saint John Macías, (Spanish San Juan Macias alt. sp Massias) (March 2, 1585 - September 16, 1645), was a Spanish Dominican religious lay brother and later Catholic saint who evangelized in Peru in 1620. He was born to a pious but impoverished Spanish family in Ribera del Fresno, Extremadura, Spain. Orphaned young, he worked as a shepherd on a South American cattle ranch around Cartegena, Colombia.
In his 30s, Macias was received by Dominican lay brothers at their house at Lima, Peru on January 23, 1622. He worked as porter and doorkeeper for his friary for over 20 years. Noted for his visions, his care for the poor of Lima, and his endless praying of the Rosary, he offered all his prayers for the release of souls in purgatory. Tradition says that Saint John Macías freed over a million souls through his prayers. He was friend of the Dominican, Saint Martin de Porres.
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At Molloy's MEGA ANTIQUES CENTRE, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand
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