By Suzanne M. Young

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By Sister Mary of the Compassion, O.P.

Martin de Porres was born in Lima Peru, of Spanish and Afro parentage. Inheriting his mother's color, he was despised by his aristocratic father, and, in early childhood, he was badly neglected. An intelligent child, he was befriended by a doctor who taught him the art of healing. Martin learned to pray when he was very young. Deciding on the Religious life, he applied to the Dominican Order and was accepted as a servant. He gave himself to the lowliest duties in the house, and after many years was accepted as a lay brother. The report of his skills as a surgeon and healer soon spread abroad. He cured many illnesses. There are many miracles attributed to Martin during his lifetime and after his death. He lived a life of almost constant prayer, and practiced unbelievable austerities. Pope John XXIII raised Martin de Porres a Saint on May 5, 1962.