By Sr, TERESA MARGARET, D.C.
St. Martin de Porres by Malachy G. Carroll (St. Paul's Publications, 3s. 6d.).
THIS booklet, subtitled "a parable in simplicity" could justly be called a parody. It propagates the dangerous error of superiority of the "white" races, -imputing to Negroes and Indians a contempt for their dark skin and envy of the white man's pigmentation (in fact they consider us etiolated specimens, and joke among themselves about our unnatural pallor).
However, they palliate their sense of injustice by the reflection (fathered upon them by William Blake) that "I am black, but 0! my soul is white". Children should not he encouraged to regard black skin as ugly or inferior, or scuds as either black or white.
An author may legitimately suppress sordid details when aiming at a youthful readership, but facts should not be falsified. It is not true that Don Juan de Porres deserted his wife because a mesalliance jeopardised his career and social standing. The future Governor of Panama never married Martin's Negro mother and no socialite's eyebrows were raised. To our everlasting shame, concubinage with native women has always been accepted as the natural law among European colonizers.
Martin de Porres will probably always he widely misrepresented because of the abundance of extraordinary phenomena in his life, but his greatest miracle was preserving his purity and idealism through the squalor of his early years. Nor did his humility consist in regarding himself as the slave of all because in men's eyes he was a despised mulatto, but rather because he knew his rightful place before God.