- Birth: December 9, 1579
- Location: Lima, Peru
- Death: November 3, 1963
- Beatification: October 29, 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI
- Canonized: May 6, 1962 by Pope John XXIII
- Feast Day: November 3
- Patron Saint of: African Americans, social justice, and race relations
A Dominican friar and mystic, St. Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru in 1579. His father, a Spanish nobleman, abandoned Martin’s family at an early age, but his mother, a former enslaved person from Panama, provided for their family and raised Martin in the faith.
At age 12, Saint Martin was apprenticed to a physician and later entered the Dominicans as a lay brother. His mixed race made him the object of prejudice and discrimination, even from his fellow religious, but he humbly devoted himself to serving with gentleness, fortitude, and joy.
He was known for his deep devotion to the Eucharist and his love for the poor and sick. He worked in the infirmary, bringing healing and consolation to the sick, and many friars asked him to be their spiritual director because of his deep wisdom.
Saint Martin de Porres founded a home for orphaned and abandoned children, where he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the poor and marginalized. His legacy continues to inspire people to work towards improving social justice and to care for the sick and poor. He was eventually canonized by Pope John XXIII as the first Black saint of the Americas.
St. Martin de Porres Prayers
Saint Martin de Porres is a reminder that we are all called to live the Gospel and to be instruments of God’s love in the world. For an increase in holiness despite adversity and suffering, here is a prayer you can say:
“Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Pray for us. (repeat after each line)
St. Martin de Porres,
Ever in the presence of God,
Faithful servant of Christ,
Lover of the Holy Eucharist,
Devoted to our Blessed Mother,
Spiritual patron of Americas,
Honored son of St. Dominic,
Lover of the Most Holy Rosary,
Apostle of mercy,
Protector of the tempted and repentant,
Helper of souls in doubt and darkness,
Compassionate to the sorrowful and afflicted,
Consoler of the discouraged and unfortunate,
Peacemaker in all discords,
Touched by all suffering,
Comforter of the sick and dying,
Worker of miraculous cures,
Guardian of the homeless child,
Humbly hiding God-given powers,
Devoted to holy poverty,
Model of obedience,
Lover of heroic penance,
Strong in self-denial,
Performing menial tasks with holy ardor,
Gifted with prophecy,
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Pray for us, St. Martin, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray, O God, who did make St. Martin, your confessor, to enter the heavenly Kingdom, grant through his merits and intercession that we may so follow the example of his humility on earth as to deserve to be exalted with him in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Prayer of St. Martin de Porres
In life’s daily struggles I sometimes feel bewildered and alone.
So I turn to you, St. Martin, my friend and companion,
to intercede for me before God.
Please pray for (mention your intention).
Most of all, ask for the grace that I may live the Gospel.
May God grant me your humility, Martin,
so that I always do His will.
Dearest Father, in the name of your Son, Jesus,
and by the power of the Holy Spirit,
guide me as I face the challenges of life.
Give me Martin’s sense of service
so that I may be a blessing to all whom I meet. Amen.
St. Martin de Porres, pray for us!
St. Martin de Porres Quotes
- “Everything, even sweeping, scraping vegetables, weeding a garden and waiting on the sick could be a prayer, if it were offered to God.”
- “Do not complain, that shows discontent with the will of God in the present moment. That is also proof of impatience.”
- “Always consider others as more holy and more worthy than you, at the same time strive to be as holy as you can be.”
- Saint Martin de Porres Catholic Church – Philadelphia, Penn.
- Saint Martin de Porres Catholic Church – Yorba Linda, Calif.
- Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School – Prosper, Texas
- Saint Martin de Porres National Shrine and Institute – Memphis, Tenn.