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Saint Martin was declared “Blessed” by Pope Gregory XVI in 1837 and his feast day was set for November 3rd.

 

Pope John XXIII canonized him on May 6th, 1962 before a crowd of 40,000 people. St. Martin continues to be greatly revered, especially in the Americas, for his commitment to racial and social justice.

 

The Golden Jubilee of his canonisation was celebrated in Peru, in Ireland and many other countries.

 

Photo: (1) 50th Anniversary Procession in Lima, Peru in 2012. (2) The Relic of St Martin de Porres carried in Procession in 2012.

Aspects of Saint Martin de Porres’ Life

The Sweeping Brush

Saint Martin is very often depicted with a sweeping brush in his hands. When Martin joined the Dominicans he did so as a ‘donate’, which meant he was a servant of the community. His duties were to sweep the cells and cloisters and clean the toilets. He was happy to be the least among the brothers. This he believed was the way to follow truly in the footsteps of Christ. In a society where status was everything, Martin sought none.

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The Sick

Martin worked with the Infirmarian, whose job it was to care for the sick. For him, spending time with the patient was as important as the medicine they had been prescribed. Many stories abounded on Martin’s ability to cure them when the doctors had given up. It is reported that he would always say “I cure you. May God heal you.” Even those whom many would have turned from in terror and revulsion were treated with love by Martin.

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The Animals

Martin loved all of God’s creation and all animals loved him, even those who were wild or ill-treated. The latter sensed in him a loving acceptance that reflected the Creator who had made them. He advocated kind and caring regard for every creature and treated them with the respect owed to Him who had brought them into being. There is even testimony that Martin, through his intercession with God, brought a dog back to life.

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