Optional Memorial of St. Martin de Porres, Religious

Read the Bible at Mass

First Reading: Philippians 2:12-18
Responsorial: Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Gospel: Luke 14:25-33

Our Catholic Culture:

Today the Church celebrates the optional memorial of St. Martin de Porres, religious, who lived a life of fasting, prayer and penance as a Dominican lay brother. He is unofficially called the patron of social justice.

Don’t forget to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory from November 1 to the 8th [and in honor of St. Martin de Porres, pray for the ending of racism.]


St. Martin de Porres
St. Martin de Porres was born at Lima, Peru, in 1579. He was the illegitimate son of a Spanish gentleman. His mother was a freed-slave from Panama, maybe black but also possibly of Indian blood. [Martin inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother, and for that reason his noble father eventually turned the boy out of his house.] [After a turn as a surgeon’s apprentice], at fifteen, he became a laybrother at the Dominican Friary at Lima and spent his whole life there — as a barber, farm-laborer, almoner, and infirmarian, among other things.

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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 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 days’ time, and resolving theological problems for the learned of his Order and for Bishops. A close friend of St. Rose of Lima[and Bl. John Massias], this saintly man died on November 3, 1639 and was canonized on May 6, 1962. 

Taken in part from Lives of the Saints, Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., Ph.D., Catholic Book Publishing Company

Patron: African-Americans; against rats; barbers; bi-racial people; hair stylists; hairdressers; hotel-keepers; innkeepers; inter-racial justice; mixed-race people; mulattoes; paupers; Peru; poor people; public education; public health; public schools; race relations; racial harmony; social justice; state schools; television.

Things to Do:

  • If you live close to Washington, D.C., make a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and visit the Chapel of Our Mother of Africa located in the Crypt Church. If not, you can view this image.
  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or do some other act of service for the poor.
  • Say a Hail Mary for those sold into slavery in the Sudan where tens of thousands of children and adults have been snatched from their homes, or anywhere in the world where slavery is practiced.
  • via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.

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