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Feast of Saint Martin de Porres

(1569-1639)

St. Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru. He was the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed slave woman from Panama, of either African or Native American descent. His parents never married. For the first eight years of his life his father did not acknowledge him, and abandoned the family after Martin’s sister was born. St. Martin de Porres was raised in poverty with the societal stigma of being mix-raced. As a young man he served as an assistant to a barber-surgeon where he learned medicine and the care of the sick. When he was 15 he joined the Dominican friars as a helper, eventually becoming a Lay Brother which at the time was forbidden for the children of slaves by Peruvian law. He took on the work of nursing the sick in the Dominican infirmary as well as the sick among the townspeople, even giving a sick man his own bed. He was also made almoner, and begged money to assist his work with the poor and sick. He founded an orphanage, tended to slaves brought from Africa, and dispensed alms to the needy. His prayers and penances were so great that he soon demonstrated miraculous powers. In addition to healing the sick, his other miracles were bi-location, levitation, hidden knowledge, and the ability to communicate with animals. Word of his sanctity spread and people from all walks of life came to him for spiritual direction. St. Martin de Porres is the patron saint of social justice, bi-racial people, African-Americans, hairdressers, barbers, public education, public health, and the poor.

His feast day is November 3rd.

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Everything, even sweeping, scraping vegetables, weeding a garden and waiting on the sick could be considered a prayer, if it were offered to God.”

Saint Martin de Porres

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope

Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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