St. Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru in 1579. His mother was an Indian woman from Panama, and his father was a Spanish gentleman. At age fifteen, he became a lay brother at the Dominican Friary at Lima where he worked as a barber, farmer and infirmarian, along with other work. His desire was to go to a foreign mission and earn the palm of martyrdom. This was not possible so he made a martyr out of his body. He devoted himself to ceaseless and severe penances. God, in turn graced him with wondrous gifts, such as, aerial flights and bilocation. His all-embracing love included humans and animals, and he maintained a cats’ and dogs’ hospital at his sister’s house. The spiritual wisdom granted him allowed him to solve his sister’s marriage problems, raising a dowry for his niece in three days’ time, and resolving theological problems for the learned of his Order and for Bishops. He was a close friend of St. Rose of Lima. He died on November 3, 1639 and was canonized May 6, 1962.
FEAST DAY: November 3
PATRON OF: South America, Biblical people, television