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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 September 23, 2019

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine wil...

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September 23

 

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine will.
Adore and bless it,
especially in the things which are the hardest for you.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Offering himself as a victim for the end of the war, Padre P...

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St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Francesco was born in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. His parents, Grazio Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio, were peasant farmers, but they recognized their son was close to God. When he was only five years old, he solemnly consecrated himself to Jesus. It is said he often spoke with Our Lord, Our Lady and his guardian angel, who defended him against attacks by the devil. He joined the Capuchin Franciscans at the age of fifteen, and took the name Pio with his religious vows. After seven years of study he was ordained to the priesthood in 1910.

During the same month he was ordained, Padre Pio was praying in the chapel when Our Lord and His Blessed Mother appeared and gave him the Stigmata. However, the wounds soon faded and then disappeared. “I do want to suffer, even to die of suffering,” Padre Pio told Our Lady, “but all in secret." Soon after, he experienced the first of his spiritual ecstasies.

Pio was in the military for a short time, but was discharged due to poor health. Upon his return to the monastery, he became a spiritual director. He had five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation, and examination of conscience. He often advised, "Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry."

In July of 1918, Padre Pio received the visible Stigmata, the five wounds of Christ (hands, feet and side), after offering himself as a victim for the end of the war. By 1933, the holy priest was recognized by the Church and by 1934 had attracted thousands of pilgrims that attended his masses and frequented his confessional.

On September 23, 1968, Padre Pio said his final Mass, renewed his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and died in his cell after suffering from grave physical decline. Before his death, Padre Pio orchestrated and oversaw the building of the “House for the Alleviation of Suffering,” a 350-bed medical and religious center.

He was canonized on June 16, 2002 by Pope John Paul II. An estimated 300,000 people attended the canonization ceremony.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs F...

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The Power of a Picture

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. “This is a picture of Her.” The woman gasped. “I know that picture! It inspired a conversion.” She then asked excitedly, “Do you have a minute to hear the story?” 

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As Mr. Ferraz listened, he learned that the woman, Maria Vegra, had a 22-year old son who had recently passed away after three weeks in the hospital due to a fatal injury received in a car accident. While in the hospital, a priest would visit him every day to administer Holy Communion. The priest consistently offered the sacrament to the neighboring patient of Maria’s son, another young man who was also in critical condition. The young man would say, “No. I don’t believe in God.” But the priest continued to offer salvation. “Let me hear your confession and give you Holy Communion and Last Rights,” the priest said, “it will save your soul and get you to heaven.” Time after time, the young man stubbornly refused.

During the weeks of hospitalization and fruitless medical treatments, Maria had taken her son a picture of Our Lady of Fatima a friend had given her from an America Needs Fatima mailing.

She knew Our Lady’s watchful gaze would give her son peace in his last days. The day after she placed Our Lady’s picture at the foot of her son’s bed, she heard the voice of his stubborn neighbor: “please,” he said, “bring the picture closer to me. I want to look at the Lady.” 

Surprised but willing, Maria placed the picture in the middle of the two suffering men. 

After three days of letting the nearby picture of Our Lady touch his heart as he gazed into Her eyes, the suffering patient relented. “Please,” he called out, “bring me the priest. I want to receive the sacraments.”

A few days later, the young man died a Catholic. With a simple picture of Our Lady of Fatima, God touched a heart and saved a soul. 

 By Catherine Ferdinand

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“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. 

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