I'm not a religious guy but awhile back I wrote an article about St Martin De Porres, patron saint of hairdressers which got a tonne of traffic here at Heads Will Roll. Well, as it happens Novemeber 3rd 2010 will mark the 371st anniversary of his death. So I'm dedicating this blog post to him.
This is his story.
At the age of twelve, Martin had to choose a trade to help earn a living for himself and his mother. Martin trained to be a barber, which in those days meant not only cutting hair and beards, but also letting blood, treating wounds and fractures, and even prescribing medicine for the more ordinary cases of illness. A barber was in fact, at the same time a surgeon, doctor and pharmacist. Martin could have earned a great deal of money and lived in comfort with his mother, but the same charity which drove him as a small child, now moved him to devote himself to the poor. On a typical day, he set out at daybreak and along the way between his home and the shop, stopped for long periods of time in the church of St Lazarus, serving at many Masses. After having spent the whole day in the effort to perfect himself in his profession and use it to help the poor, he shut himself up in his room to feed his soul with spiritual reading and prayer.