On June 22, 2022, the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. in Brazil celebrated a Mass to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the death of Friar Martinho de Porres (Matthias) WARD, OFM Conv. The Mass was celebrated at the Perfeita Alegria Hermitage, in Andrelândia, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The Provincial Custos, Friar Ronaldo GOMES DA SILVA, presided with most of the friars of the Custody concelebrating. Others present included some young men from the postulancy program in Petrópolis, State of Rio de Janeiro. Friar Ronaldo highlighted some points from Friar Martinho’s life, such as his vocational story, his life as a friar in the United States, his coming to Brazil as a missionary, the willingness and dedication he brought to his pastoral ministry as a priest and the academic services he provided as a professor. He led a simple life at the formation house in Andrelândia at that time and was much loved by the people, by the friars and by those in formation. He was good-natured, jovial and responsive to the people who frequently came to him with questions. He was also noted for his cheerfulness. Another hallmark of his character was when he told funny religious stories, or when would hide in order to startle those he met in the rooms of the enormous friary and the old seminary, especially in the morning. He died on June 22, 1999, in Rio de Janeiro and was buried in the cemetery of the Friary of São Francisco, today the former Seminary and Hermitage of Perfeita Alegria. The faithful attended this celebration in large numbers. A commemoration room displaying mementos of Friar Martinho was inaugurated and blessed. Our confrere’s fame of sanctity has been growing among the parishioners of the Nossa Senhora do Porto da Eterna Salvação Parish as well as in the territory of the Diocese of São João del Rei, State of Minas Gerais.
The Custos thanked everyone for their participation, especially the hermit Friars Robson MALAFAIA BARCELLOS and Marcelo dos Santos SILVA, who work with dedication and affection preserving the memory of our eternal brother and advancing the cause for his Beatification. We invite everyone to pray imploring his intercession.
Friar Carlos Roberto de Oliveira CHARLES, Custodial Secretary