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Ordinary Time: November 3rd

Optional Memorial of St. Martin de Porres, religious

Other Titles: Martin of Charity; the Saint of the Broom

MASS READINGS

November 03, 2007 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, the rewarder of the humble, you raised up the blessed confessor Martin to the kingdom of heaven. May his merits and prayers help us to imitate his humility on earth that we may be exalted with him in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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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.

Before the reform of the Roman Calendar in 1969, this was the feast of St. Hubert, priest. His feastday is no longer on the Universal Roman Calendar, but has been transferred to particular calendars.


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:

  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or do some other act of service for the poor, following the example of St. Martin.

  • Say a Hail Mary for those sold into slavery in the Sudan where tens of thousands of children and adults have been snatched from their homes, or anywhere in the world where slavery is practiced.

  • Visit St. Martín de Porres.

  • Books for Children:
    Pied Piper of Peru by Anne Tompert
    Saint Martin de Porres and the Mice by Eva K. Betz
    Saint Martin de Porres by Lawrence Lovasik
    Saint Martin de Porres by Mary Fabyan Windeatt
    Saint Martin de Porres: Humble Healer by Elizabeth Marie DeDomenico
    A Story of Saint Martin De Porres by Brother Ernest C.S.C.

  • Catholic News Agency has several interesting articles on St. Martin:
  • Read more about St. Martin at OSV and uCatholic.
  • St. Martin's remains are in the Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo, Lima, Peru.
  • There is a St. Martin de Porres National Shrine & Institute in Memphis, Tennessee.

  • A Guide to Plenary Indulgences for the All Souls' "Octave", November 1-8
    Visiting a Cemetery: 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 November 1-8; on other days of the year it is a partial indulgence.

    Visiting a Church on November 2: 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.


    Indulgence Requirements: 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 while being detached from sin. It is appropriate that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.


    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.