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St. Martin de Porres: Praying for the Poor

What actually makes people so different from one another? It`s not the color of your skin or your ethnic background. It`s your soul. The way you love God. The way you treat others.

St. Martin de Porres was the son of a Spanish knight and a freed black woman. When Martin was young his father abandoned him, his mother, and his sister in Lima, Peru. Most white people in that area were upper class and thought they were better than everyone else which made it hard for Martin, who was black. Most blacks couldn`t get a decent job to support a family. When Martin was 12 he became a barber`s apprentice. After a while he decided he wanted something more for himself.

At the age of 15, he recieved his habit of the Third Order of Friars. He was now a Dominican brother and was helping the poor and the sick. During this time, many Africans were being sent as slaves to Peru. They were poor, hungry, and neglected. When they saw that St. Martin was black, they begged his and other friars help.

St. Martin de Porres helped many people not only physically, but spiritually. St. Martin prayed very devoutly to God. St. Martin had many struggles because of his ethnic background, but that didn`t matter because as his mother said “just keep your soul white and shiny, that`s all that matters.”

St. Martin also had many spiritual gifts given to him by God. St. Martin could talk with animals, he also had the gift of bilocation, and St. Martin was blessed with the ability to see into a persons soul.