Saint Martin de Porres
Discover for yourself the story of our patron Saint Martin de Porres and find out who he is to us.
Who was Saint Martin de Porres?
He was born in Lima, Peru in 1579. From the beginning he encountered many difficulties due to his origin, for he was the son of a conquistador and a liberated African woman from Panama. For this reason, he had no famaily name for many years, which in turn deepened his exclusion. His father finally did recognize him as a son and gave him his name after many years.
Because he had “inappropriate” origin and color, he didn’t have many career prospects. So he became a barber, which in those days meant not only a person who cut hair, but also performed simple medical procedures. As a fifteen-year-old, he wanted to join the Dominican Order, but because of his origin he could not become a priest. He was therefore accepted as a collaborator brother, more like a volunteer. Throughout his life he was met with humiliation and insults that he endured in humility. Only after years, thanks to his father was he allowed to religious vows. Often he had a conflict with the prior because he brought the homeless to the monastery and gave them accommodation. He tried to help everyone who came to him – also animals. He was especially known for caring for mice.
With time, he began to be called “the father of charity.” He also won the respect of people of various professions. He received the gift of healing and experienced ecstasy in his life. 25 years after his death, his body was pulled out, which was intact and smelled beautiful. There were also numerous miracles at his grave.
Who is Saint Martin for us?
He is a universal saint for us, whose principles and thoughts are still valid, which is why we chose him as the Dominican patron for our Home and Center. For years we have been observing how Saint Martin looks after us and our joint work. Just as in his lifetime he cared for every being he met, so now he cares for all matters entrusted to him. We feel that he leads us and shows whom and how we are to help. Following his example we want to be open to the weakest and most needy.
We celebrate his holiday on the anniversary of his death on November 3. See how we celebrated last year and in 2010 – how our ministries have changed.