Commemoration of Blessed García Martínez

On January 5, the “Comendadoras” commemorated Blessed García Martínez. We only know about him that he was of Portuguese nationality and that his life was full of holiness. His miracles began with his death in 1286. Two of these miracles are particularly remembered because they were spectacular. When Doña Leonora, sister of King John of Portugal, went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, she stopped with all her entourage in Leça do Balio, a beautiful Romanesque church owned by the Order, and here for three days he venerated the relics of the Holy Knight. After giving her alms in her honor, she resumed her journey.

As soon as she left the city, a man whose legs were reduced to skin and bones following her example dragged himself to the tomb of the Saint, prayed fervently and fell asleep. When he woke up the cripple was healed and the legs were back to normal. Full of joy, he ran to the plain until he reached Doña Leonora to whom he told of the grace received, to everyone’s amazement. Doña Leonora returned to the monastery and for nine days she remained in prayer. An official document was drawn up to confirm her wonder and was signed by the princess and all the lords of the procession.

Another miracle concerned a blacksmith from Leça who, listening to the gossip and the tales of gossips, began to suspect that the young and beautiful wife had failed her wedding vows: and from that day on he covered her with reproaches, threats and beatings.

The desperate wife invoked the Blessed Garcia Martinez and, as proof of her innocence of her, she took in her hand a glowing plow from the flames of the forge, and she went quietly to place it on the tomb of the Blessed. After seeing his wife’s fingers miraculously intact, the husband had to acknowledge his mistake.

In the seventeenth century you could still see, hanging near the tomb of the Blessed Knight, the crutches of the cripple and the ploughshare, which testified to the power, goodness, understanding, courtesy and virtuous chivalry towards women.

Commemoration of Blessed García Martínez