November 3 - Saint Martin de Porres

Quick Facts
  • Illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a young freed black slave, he grew up in poverty.
  • Spent part of his youth with a surgeon-barber from whom he learned some medicine and care of the sick.
  • At age 11 he became a servant in the Dominican priory.
  • Promoted to almoner, he begged more than $2,000 a week from the rich to support the poor and sick of Lima.
  • Placed in charge of the Dominican's infirmary; known for his tender care of the sick and for his spectacular cures.
  • His superiors dropped the stipulation that "no black person may be received to the holy habit or profession of our order" and Martin took vows as a Dominican brother.
  • Established an orphanage and children's hospital for the poor children of the slums.
  • Set up a shelter for the stray cats and dogs and nursed them back to health.
  • Lived in self-imposed austerity, never ate meat, fasted continuously, and spent much time in prayer and meditation.
  • Great devotion to the Eucharist.
  • Friend of Saint John de Massias.
  • He was venerated from the day of his death.
  • Many miraculous cures, including raising the dead attributed to Brother Martin.
  • First black American saint.