Some time after his birth at Lima in Peru, Martin de Porres' parents separated. His father left Martin's mother and her young children in poverty. Yet Martin demonstrated exceptional generosity to others. Martin joined the Dominicans and eventually became a lay brother in the order, clothed in the black and white habit of St. Dominic.
Martin dedicated himself to caring for the sick and poor, often children, in Peru. His reputation as a healer grew rapidly. People flocked to him, all hoping to be healed and renewed. At the canonization of Martin de Porres, Pope John XXIII preached, "He was tireless in his efforts to reform the criminal, and he would sit up with the sick to bring them comfort. For the poor he would provide food, clothing and medicine. He did all he could to care for poor farmhands, blacks, and mulattoes who were looked down upon as slaves, the dregs of society in their time."
Martin's zeal in caring for others challenges us to live by his example. This image depicts St. Martin de Porres with the Peruvian children and the animals that he so loved.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque, print and photo.)
A Prayer to St. Martin de Porres
To you Saint Martin de Porres we prayerfully lift up our hearts filled with serene confidence and devotion. Mindful of your unbounded and helpful charity to all levels of society and also of your meekness and humility of heart, we offer our petitions to you.
Pour out upon our families the precious gifts of your solicitous and generous intercession; show to the people of every race and every color the paths of unity and of justice; implore from our Father in heaven the coming of His kingdom, so that through mutual benevolence in God we may increase the fruits of grace and merit the rewards of eternal life.
(This prayer is printed on the back of Prayer Cards only.)
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Image © Fr. John Giuliani
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