St. Martin de Porres
Feast: November 3
December 9, 1579, Lima, Peru
November 3, 1639, Lima, Peru
May 6, 1962 by Pope John XXIII
Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, Lima, Peru
black people, hair stylists, innkeepers, mixed-race people, Peru, poor people, public education, public health, public schools, race relations, social justice, state schools, television, Peruvian Naval Aviators
He was born in Lima, Peru, the illegitimate son of a Spanish knight, John de Porres, and a freed Panamanian slave named Anna. In 1594, Martin became a Dominican lay brother in Lima and served in various menial offices. Outside of the monastery he became known for his care of the poor and the sick. Martin founded an orphanage and ministered to African slaves brought to Lima. He was aided by St. Rose of Lima, who respected his penances and labors. Martin experienced many mystical gifts, including bilocation and aerial flights. When he was dying in Rosary Convent on November 3, the viceroy, the count of Chichon, knelt by his bed, seeking Martin's blessing. Martin, who is the patron of interracial justice, was canonized by Blessed Pope John XXIII (r. 1958-1963) in 1962.