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Saint Martin de Porres

AKA: Martin de Porres Velazquez
Martin of Charity
Martin the Charitable
Saint of the Broom (for his devotion to his work, no matter how menial)

Born: December 9, 1579 in Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru

Died: November 3, 1639 (age 59) in Lima, Viceroyalty of Peru (modern-day Peru) of Fever

Venerated: Roman Catholic Church
Lutheran Church
Anglican Communion

Beatified: October 29, 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI

Canonized: May 6, 1962 by Pope John XXIII

Feast Day: November 3

Patronages:  African-Americans
Against Rats; Barbers
Biracial People
For Inter-Racial Justice
For Social Justice
Hair Stylists
Mixed-Race People
Poor People
Public Education
Public Health
Public Schools
Race Relations
Racial Harmony
Place: Diocese of Biloxi
Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana

Representation: Broom
Dog, Cat, Bird and Mouse eating together from the same dish

Saint Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru, in 1579.  His father was a Spanish gentleman and his mother an Indian woman from Panama.  At 15, 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.

Saint Martin's love was all-embracing, shown equally to humans and animals, including vermin, and he maintained a cat's 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 days' time, and resolving theological problems for the learned of his Order and the Bishops.  A close friend of Saint Rose of Lima, this saintly man died on November 3, 1639 and was canonized on May 6, 1952, by Pope John XXIII.

Prayer: God, You led Saint Martin by the way of humility to heavenly glory.  Help us to follow the example of his holiness and so became worthy to be exalted with him in heaven.  Amen.