Martin of Charity
December 9, 1579
November 3, 1639 (aged 59)
May 6, 1962, by Pope John XXIII
diocese of Biloxi, diocese of Parañaque, Philippines, black people, hair stylists, innkeepers, lottery, lottery winners, mixed-race people, Peru, poor people, public education, public health, race relations, social justice, Mexico
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 a cats and dogs 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 day’s time, and resolving theological problems for the learned of his Order and for bishops. A close friend of St. Rose of Lima.
Most humble, St. Martin de Porres Whose burning charity embraced not only the needy brethren, but also the very animals in the field. Splendid example of charity, we hail thee and invoke thee, from the high throne which you now occupy. Deign to listen to the supplications of your brethren, that by imitating your virtues, we may live contented in that state in which God has placed us, and carrying with strength and courage our cross, we may follow the footsteps of our Blessed Redeemer and His Most Afflicted Mother, that, at last,we may reach the kingdom of Heaven, through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.