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St. Martin de Porres

St. Martin de Porres by Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist Narrative:

Most humble Martin de Porres, whose burning charity embraced not only thy needy brethren, but also the very animals of the field, splendid example of charity, we hail and invoke thee! From that high throne which thou dost occupy, deign to listen to the supplications of thy needy brethren that, by imitating thy virtues, we may live contented in that state in which God has placed us, and, carrying our cross with strength and courage, we may follow in the footsteps of our Blessed Redeemer and His most afflicted Mother, to reach at last the Kingdom of Heaven through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

His feast day is November 3.

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St. Martin de Porres was born at Lima, Peru, in 1579. His father was a Spanish gentleman and his mother a coloured freed-woman from Panama. At fifteen, he became a lay brother at the Dominican Friary at Lima and spent his whole life there-as a barber, farm laborer, almoner, and infirmarian among other things.

Martin had a great desire to go off to some foreign mission and thus earn the palm of martyrdom. However, since this was not possible, he made a martyr out of his body, devoting himself to ceaseless and severe penances. In turn, God endowed him with many graces and wondrous gifts, such as, aerial flights and bilocation.

St. Martin's love was all-embracing, shown equally to humans and to animals, including vermin, and he maintained cats and dogs in a hospital at his sister's house. He also possessed spiritual wisdom, demonstrated in his solving his sister's marriage problems, raising a dowry for his niece inside of three days' time, and resolving theological problems for the learned of his Order and for bishops. A close friend of St. Rose of Lima, this saintly man died on November 3, 1639 and was canonized on May 6, 1962. His feast day is November 3.

Born: December 9, 1579 at Lima, Peru

Died: 1639 of fever

Beatified: 1873

Canonized: May 16, 1962 by Pope John XXIII