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St. Martin de Porres – Patron Saint of Social Justice

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Ave Maria Hour Radio Show

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Rebroadcast of the long-running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour," a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. http://www.AtonementFriars.org

Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru on December 9, 1579. He was the illegitimate son of a Spanish knight and a freed slave from Panama. Martin's father abandoned the poverty-stricken family when Martin was very young. Martin attended school for only two years before being apprenticed to a barber/surgeon where he learned to cut hair and was also trained in medical practices.

In Peru, by law, mixed-race persons were not allowed to become full members of religious orders. Martin, who spent long hours in prayer, begged the Dominicans of Holy Rosary Priory in Lima to accept him as a volunteer laborer. Eventually, he became a lay brother in the order. Martin worked in the infirmary where he was praised for his unconditional care of all people, regardless of race or wealth. Martin’s life reflected his great love for God, and many miracles were attributed to him during his lifetime.

St. Martin de Porres died on November 3, 1639 at the age of 60. He was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI on October 29, 1837 and canonized by Pope John XXIII on May 6, 1962. His feast day is November 3.