St. Martin de Porres

Posted on November 10, 2017 in: General News

St. Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru, the illegitimate son to a Spanish gentleman and a freed slave from Panama, of African descent. As Martin grew older, he experienced a great deal of ridicule for being of mixed-race. Martin asked the Dominicans to accept him as a volunteer who performed the most menial tasks in the monastery. In return, he would be allowed to wear the habit and live within the religious community. Eventually he was formally received and worked as a servant boy. Martin was praised for his unconditional care of all people, regardless of race or wealth. He took care of everyone from the Spanish nobles to the African slaves. Martin also founded an orphanage for abandoned children and slaves and is known for raising dowry for young girls in short amounts of time. During an epidemic in Lima, many of the friars became very ill. The sick were locked away in a distant section of the convent, and were kept away from the other friars. Repeatedly Martin passed through the locked doors to care for the sick. Though he was disciplined for not following the rules he continued to hold charity above the virtue of obedience and he was given full liberty to follow his heart in mercy. In January of 1639, when Martin was 60 years old, he became very ill. He would experience almost a year full of illness until he passed away on November 3, 1639. St. Martin de Porres was canonized by Pope John XXIII on May 6, 1962. His feast day in November 3.

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