Dominican Lay Brother – (1579-1639)
+ Martin de Porres Velazquez was born in Lima, Peru. The son of a Spanish noble and a freed African slave, he entered the Order of Preachers as a lay brother.
+ Serving his community as a barber, farm-laborer, almoner, and infirmarian, Martin devoted his life to prayer and penance. He was also known for his charity to both man and beast.
+ Honored for his spiritual wisdom and insights, he was especially loved by the poor and abandoned.
+ Saint Martin de Porres died on November 3, 1639, and was canonized in 1962.
Another member of Saint Martin de Porres’ community is also honored as a saint: Saint Juan Macias. Born into an impoverished Spanish noble family, he was orphaned as a child and had to support himself by working as a ranch hand. He eventually made his way to Colombia and, later, entered the Dominicans in Lima. A lay brother like Saint Martin, he served his community as doorkeeper for twenty years and he was honored for his devotion to the rosary and his care for souls. He died in 1585 and was canonized in 1795. His commemoration is celebrated on September 16.
“It is deeply rewarding for those striving for salvation to follow in Christ’s footsteps and to obey God’s commandments. If only everyone could learn this lesson from the example that Martin gave us.”—Pope Saint John XXIII
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. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.