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Feast of St. Martin de Porres

November 3 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

Born in Lima, Peru in 1579, Martin was the illegitimate son of a free freed slave of Panama and a Spanish man. His father refused to acknowledge his existence as Martin was mixed race, inheriting the darker skin of his mother. Because of his father’s abandonment, Martin, his mother, and his younger sister lived in severe poverty. Eventually he was placed as an apprentice to a barber/surgeon, learning to cut hair as well as small medical procedures.

At the time, there was a Peruvian law that prohibited African and Indian descendants from entering religious orders. Martin’s only way into a religious life was through the Dominicans of Holy Rosary Priory. They accepted him as a volunteer who took on thankless tasks, such as sweeping the monastery. For his duties, he was permitted to wear the habit and live within the religious community. Despite the law, he was eventually allowed to take his vows as a member of the order. He became a Dominican lay brother in 1603 at just 24. Ten years later, Martin was put in charge of the infirmary, a position he held until his death.

Martin’s love for all people is a large part of his legacy. He cared for Spanish noblemen and slaves alike, and cared for a person no matter how diseased or dirty they were. During his life he also founded an orphanage for abandoned children and slaves, as well as raised money for young girls’ dowries.

Extraordinary abilities, such as levitating while deep in prayer and bilocation (when a person appears in two distinct places at once) were attributed to Martin.

At the age of 60, Martin fell ill and suffered greatly for a year. By the time he passed away on November 3, 1639, Martin was widely recognized. Immediately after his death, there was plenty of talk about people receiving healing through miracles accredited to St. Martin. 25 years after his death, St. Martin’s body was exhumed. It was still intact and radiated a fragrant smell.

On October 29, 1837, St. Martin de Porres was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI. He was later canonized on May 6, 1962 by Pope John XXIII.

Prayer to St. Martin de Porres

To you Saint Martin de Porres we prayerfully lift up our hearts filled with serene confidence and devotion. Mindful of your unbounded and helpful charity to all levels of society and also of your meekness and humility of heart, we offer our petitions to you. Pour out upon our families the precious gifts of your solicitous and generous intercession; show to the people of every race and every color the paths of unity and of justice; implore from our Father in heaven the coming of his kingdom, so that through mu tual benevolence in God men may increase the fruits of grace and merit the rewards of eternal life. Amen.




November 3
12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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