St. Louis Bertrand
Friar and Priest
A Dominican friar, Louis Bertrand (1526 -81) was born Luis Beltran in Valencia, Spain, where he spent most of his ministry. However, he is renowned for his missionary work in Colombia, Panama, and the Lesser Antilles from 1562 to 1568 and is credited with baptizing many Native Americans. First assigned to the territory of New Granada, he found it difficult to understand the native language. Louis prayed for the gift of tongues, and his prayer was answered, for the natives understood him and were converted. When attacked by an armed man in Colombia, he made the sign of the cross over the gun and it was transformed into a crucifix. Louis was one of the earliest Spanish missionaries to raise his voice against the rapidity of his countrymen in the New World. Well known for his role in training young religious, he is the Dominican Order’s patron saint of novice masters.
Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.