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St. Martin de PorresBorn in Lima, Peru on December 9, 1579, Martin was the illegitimate son of Juan de Porras, a noble Spanish knight, and Ana Velázquez, a freed black slave from Panama.

To his father’s great displeasure, Martin had inherited his mother’s features and dark skin, and while he acknowledged him as his son, soon after the birth of Martin’s sister Juana, Juan de Porras left the children to the care of their mother.

At the age of twelve, his mother apprenticed Martin to a barber-surgeon from whom he learned not only the duties of a barber but also how to draw blood and to prepare and administer medicine. Three years later, he entered the Dominican Priory of the Holy Rosary in Lima where he applied himself to the lowliest tasks.

After many years, under obedience to his religious superiors, he was compelled to accept the habit of a professed lay brother, an honor that he had considered too great for himself.

Devoted to Our Lord’s Passion from his childhood, he lived a life of almost constant prayer. His charity, humility and obedience were extraordinary and he practiced unbelievable austerities. As almoner, Martin was charged with distributing the Priory’s alms to the poor.

Oftentimes, it was noted that when the food was insufficient for the needs at hand, it miraculously increased. His skills as a surgeon were also in great demand within and outside the Priory walls and he was put in charge of caring for the sick, a duty he exercised with unfailing patience. With equal charity he ministered to Spanish nobles and the lowliest slaves, recently arrived from Africa. Cures became too numerous to count. But it was as much by his prayers as through his medical ability that he cured the most daunting diseases.

Although he never left Lima once he entered the Dominican Order, Martin was seen in foreign countries by people who knew him well. He was known to bilocate to the bedside of the sick, consoling them in their sufferings, often curing them of their infirmities; he reserved his most tender solicitude for the dying. During prayer, he was often seen in ecstasy before the Blessed Sacrament, suspended in midair and surrounded by light.

St. Martin was a contemporary and close friend of both St. John Massias and St. Rose of Lima. Before his death, among other works of charity, he who had been abandoned by his own father founded a residence for orphans and abandoned children.

He died on November 3, 1639 after a long and painful illness. The entire population of Lima, high-born and low, flocked to his funeral, at which the Prior himself officiated. Four of the humble lay brother’s closest friends – the Viceroy, the Archbishop of Mexico, the Bishop of Cuzco and the Judge of the Royal Court – carried his body to its resting place.

Martin was beatified in 1837 and canonized in 1962.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for August 2, 2021

The state of grace is nothing other than purity, and it give...

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August 2

 

The state of grace is nothing other than purity,
and it gives heaven to those who clothe themselves in it.
Holiness, therefore, is simply the state of grace
purified, illuminated, beautified by the most perfect purity,
exempt not only from mortal sin but also from the smallest faults.
Purity will make saints of you!
Everything lies in this.

St. Peter Julian Eymard


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Eusebius of Vercelli

The Arians dragged him through the streets and shut him up i...

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St. Eusebius of Vercelli

Eusebius was born on the island of Sardinia where his father died a martyr. His mother took him and his sister to live in Rome where Eusebius eventually joined the clergy and was ordained a lector. He was sent to Vercelli and served the Church so well there that he was chosen as its bishop. He is the first bishop of Vercelli whose name was recorded.

In 354 he was sent by Pope Liberius to persuade the Emperor Constantius to call a council to settle Catholic-Arian disputes. When it was called at Milan, Eusebius went reluctantly, sensing that the Arians would have their way. He refused to go along with the condemnation of Saint Athanasius, who’s  refusal to tolerate Arian heresy was the cause of many trials and persecutions. Eusebius insisted on Athanasius’ innocence and reminded the emperor that secular force should not be used to influence Church decisions. At first the emperor threatened to kill him, but later sent him into exile in Palestine. There the Arians dragged him through the streets and shut him up in a little room, releasing him only after Eusebius undertook a four-day hunger strike. They soon resumed their harassment.

His exile continued in Asia Minor and Egypt, until the new emperor permitted him to return to his see in Vercelli. He died in 371.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by h...

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The Virgin Mary Rewards a Bandit

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by horse, many were the dangers to be found along the roadways. Bandits plagued travelers and made their living by depriving others of their goods and often their very lives.

A young woman in the Papal States, who was very devout towards Mary, met in a certain place a chief of the bandits. Fearing some outrage, she implored him, for love of the most holy Virgin, not to molest her.

"Do not fear," he answered, "for you have prayed me in the name of the mother of God; and I only ask you to recommend me to her." Moved by the woman’s mention of the Blessed Virgin, the bandit accompanied her himself along the road to a place of safety.

The following night, Mary appeared in a dream to the bandit. She thanked him for the act of kindness he had performed for love of her. Mary went on to say that she would remember it and would one day reward him.

The robber, at length, was arrested, and condemned to death. But behold, the night previous to his execution, the blessed Virgin visited him again in a dream, and first asked him: "Do you know who I am?"

He answered, "It seems to me I have seen you before."

"I am the Virgin Mary," she continued, "and I have come to reward you for what you have done for me. You will die tomorrow, but you will die with so much contrition that you will come at once to paradise."

The convict awoke, and felt such contrition for his sins that he began to weep bitterly, all the while giving thanks aloud to our Blessed Lady. He asked immediately for a priest, to whom he made his confession with many tears, relating the vision he had seen. Finally, he asked the priest to make public this grace that had been bestowed on him by Mary.

He went joyfully to his execution, after which, as it is related, his countenance was so peaceful and so happy that all who saw him believed that the promise of the heavenly mother had been fulfilled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by horse, many were the dangers to be found along the roadways.