Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saint Martin de Porres
This falls into the "You Never Know What You're Going to See Next" category. This was a procession honoring St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639) of Peru. Known for his work with the poor, as well as his founding of an orphanage and children's hospital, he was canonized in 1962. (I'm not really sure why these people - identified by one participant as Peruvian immigrants - were parading St. Martin up 9th Avenue, since his official feast day is in November.) The little band that marched behind played dirge-like music at a very slow tempo while the men carrying the platform matched that tempo with a shuffling step. Every few minutes the procession would stop and the men would lower the platform to waist level. Then a priest would say some prayers and strike a bell on the front of the platform. Luckily my boys were with me and really enjoyed the spectacle.