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Ordinary Time: November 3rd

Optional Memorial of St. Martin de Porres, religious

Daily Readings for: November 03, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who led Saint Martin de Porres by the path of humility to heavenly glory, grant that we may so follow his radiant example in this life as to merit to be exalted with him in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: Hubert of Liege (Hist) ; Other Titles: Martin of Charity; the Saint of the Broom

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 was born in Peru of a Spanish knight and a Negro woman from Panama. 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, the young man joined the Dominicans as a laybrother and was put in charge of the infirmary of a friary in Lima. Soon he was caring for the sick of the city and the slaves brought to Peru from Africa — not to mention the animals with which he is often pictured. Martin had the gift of miracles; and although he had no formal training, he was often consulted on theological questions by great churchmen of his day. St. Rose of Lima and Bl. John Massias were among his close friends. He is unofficially called the patron of social justice.

Historically today is the feast of St. Hubert, priest. He was known for his excellent preaching and his generosity to the poor and was the first bishop of Liege.

Don't forget to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory from November 1 to the 8th.


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. 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.

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, 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:


St. Hubert
Late in the eighth century, so runs the story, a hunter named Hubert, neither better nor worse than he should have been, was tracking a stag through the forest of the Ardennes. As he readied himself to shoot the animal with his arrow, he was startled when the stag turned suddenly in its flight, and he saw between its antlers a luminous cross. This experience caused Hubert to change his way of life, and he never hunted again. Yet only a few centuries later he was known as the patron of hunters, and is a saint greatly honored in France and Belgium.

Saint Hubert lived a full life. He became bishop of Tongres and traveled through his huge diocese on horseback and by boat, preaching and building churches to the glory of God. He was the friend of the great of his day — Pepin of Heristal and Charles Martel among them — and also of the poor. In particular his heart went out to prisoners, and he would secretly place food for them before their dungeon windows. As he died he said to those about him, "Stretch the pallium over my mouth for I am now going to give back to God the soul I received from Him."

In parts of France and Belgium there has long been a custom of holding stag hunts on Saint Hubert's Day, and the hunters gather before the chase for Mass and the blessing of men and horses and dogs. After the hunt is over, those taking part gather for a bountiful breakfast consisting of fish, meat, salad, cheese, and dessert. Naturally the meat is venison of some sort, and the salad may well be one of dandelion greens.

Excerpted from Feast Day Cookbook

Patron: Archers; dog bite; dogs; forest workers; furriers; hunters; hunting; huntsmen; hydrophobia; liege, Belgium; machinists; mad dogs; mathematicians; metal workers; precision instrument makers; rabies; smelters; trappers.

Symbols: Bishop celebrating Mass as an angel brings him a scroll; bishop with a hound and hunting horn; bishop with a stag with a crucifix; huntsman adoring a stag with a crucifix in its antlers; kneeling before a stag as an angel brings him a stole; kneeling in prayer, a hound before him and often with hunting gear nearby; knight with a banner showing the stag's head and crucifix; stag; stag with a crucifix over its head; young courtier with two hounds.

Things to Do:



Indulgences for All Souls Week
An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the first to the eighth of November; on other days of the year it is partial.


A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who on the day dedicated to the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed [November 2 {as well as on the Sunday preceding or following, and on All Saints' Day}] piously visit a church. In visiting the church it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.


To acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary also to fulfill the following three conditions: sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the intention of the Holy Father. The three conditions may be fulfilled several days before or after the performance of the visit; it is, however, fitting that communion be received and the prayer for the intention of the Holy Father be said on the same day as the visit.


The condition of praying for the intention of the Holy Father is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary. A plenary indulgence can be acquired only once in the course of the day.

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