Sunday, November 3, 2013

National Black Catholic History Month: St. Martin de Porres

(Image via Catholic Apologetics)

Today is the feast day of St. Martin de Porres.

De Porres was born in Lima, Peru, in the 16th century as the son of a Panamanian freedwoman who is generally considered to have been of mixed Native and African ancestry and a white Spanish nobleman. He became a lay brother of the Dominican order when he was in his 20s.

A popular (apocryphal?) story about de Porres tells about the time when a colony of mice infested the monastery where he lived. Although his Dominican brothers wanted to poison the rodents, de Porres instead spoke quietly to one of the pests, promised them food as long as they stayed away from the humans and then led them all outside, away from the monastery. He is said to have kept his word.

Pope John XXIII canonized de Porres in 1962.

He is the patron saint of African Americans, mixed-race people, people seeking racial harmony, hairdressers, lottery winners and social justice.

Follow my National Black Catholic History Month tag for more information on black Catholic notables.

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