St. Martin de Porres
Martin was born in Lima, Peru, in 1579. His father was a knight from Spain. His mother was a freed slave from Panama. At first, his father left Martin and his mother and sister without support. They were very, very poor.
Martin grew up devout and good. When he was twelve, he was sent to learn the trade of a barber. He also learned how to cure many diseases. Martin’s father finally decided to provide for his son’s education. However, Martin wanted to give himself to God as a Dominican brother. Brother Martin soon proved to be a wonderful religious. No one was kinder, holier, or more obedient.
He served his fellow religious as a barber and infirmarian. He was also in charge of giving food to the poor who came to the doors of the Dominican house. He founded an orphanage and a hospital, and he cared for the sick around the city of Lima. Before long, he became well known for his kindness to the poor and sick. People admired him for his holiness of life. Everyone in the city of Lima would send for Brother Martin when there was sickness. He loved all people as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Great sums of money were given to this good, lovable brother for his charities. People recognized how well he could organize works of charity.
Not even animals were forgotten by this kindhearted saint. He excused the comings and goings of rats and mice by saying, “The poor little things don’t have enough to eat.” In his sister’s house, he kept a “home for wandering cats and dogs.”
Despite his fame in Lima, St. Martin always had a very humble opinion of himself. His name for him-self was, in fact, “Brother Broom.” Martin died on November 3, 1639. When he died, this beloved saint was carried to his tomb by bishops and noble-men. They wanted to honor the humble and holy brother. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope John XXIII in 1962.
Our Heavenly Father has no preference when it comes to the color of a person’s skin. Instead, he looks into our hearts. We can ask St. Martin de Porres to give us his love for all people. He’ll help us to see people of all races, nationalities, and religions as children of God.
- Daughters of St Paul