Our Saints and Ancestors

The levitation of St. Martin de Porres. Image thanks to bylovealone.

Ancient graves of our Silver ancestors at Silver Corozal Cemetery in Ancón.

We want to exhort all of the Westindian community historically recognized as the original and de facto residents of the City of Colon and areas of Panama City and Bocas del Toro to make a special effort to honor their ancestors today, El Día de los Muertos.

In addition to being the main workers and builders of the first intercontinental railway in the americas, The Panama Railroad (1849-1855), they also sacrificed life and limb, en masse, to prosper the building of the Panama Canal on both instances of the French and American govenments and from both terminal cities of Colon and Panama.

Our Silver ancestors, the immigrants from the English and French speaking Caribbean basin, were the first to give the peculiar cities of Colon and Panama their cosmopolitan and civilized air to welcome visitors and settlers alike from all over the world even into our times today.

We also want to remind you our beloved readers, that tomorrow, as the marching bands and demonstrations of patriotism display with fervor their feelings of belonging to a sovereign nation, it is also the day the Catholic Church commemorates our San Martín de Porres (1579-1639) as November 3 is his day of decease and also his Saint’s Day, the day he was commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Church of England.

He was a Dominican lay brother and not a priest.  He has been very beloved as a Saint throughout Latin America and he should be remembered and venerated more in Panama as he was the son of a Spaniard and a black Panamanian mother from the area of Chorrera. He is also the patron saint of mixed race persons and of those seeking inter-racial justice. In fact we have special stories regarding such unknown things to many people, as how he considered all work to be sacred no matter how menial.

It is something we need to understand about our unique culture, especially in light of all that has happened lately in the City of Colon. It is remembered also that due to rampant racism inside and out of the Church it took 323 years for this universally loved saint to be Beatified (1837) and then Canonized finally by Pope John 23rd on May 6, 1962.

So that, we want to strongly urge you to visit the cemeteries of Mount Hope in Colon, and Silver Corozal here in Panama, which, for us is a thanks to God for our Law 348 of March 17th, 2012 which declared these hallowed burial grounds National Patrimony. Have special compassion for the lonely graves beside the loved ones you visit.

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