“One day an aged beggar, covered with ulcers and almost naked, stretched out his hand, and Saint Martin, seeing the Divine Mendicant in him, took him to his own bed, paying no heed to the fact that he was not perfectly neat and clean. One of his brethren, considering he had gone too far in his charity, reproved him. Saint Martin replied: ‘Compassion, my dear Brother, is preferable to cleanliness. Reflect that with a little soap I can easily clean my bed covers, but even with a torrent of tears I would never wash from my soul the stain that my harshness toward the unfortunate would create.’ ” (Saint Martin de Porres, Religious; from Vie du Bienheureux Martin de Porrès, by Fr. Arthur M. Granger, O.P. , Dominican Press: St. Hyacinthe, 1941)
The Optional Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, Religious (1579-1639) is November 3.