Taken from: http://webcatolicodejavier.org/porres.html

St. MARTÍN DE PORRES (1579-1639)

(Known as Friar Broom) Catholic Church celebrates his feast November 3.

San Martin de Porres was born in Lima in 1579. His father was a Spanish knight, D. Juan de Porres, and his mother a mulatto girl, Ana Velázquez. Martín was baptized in the church of San Sebastián, in the same baptismal font in which seven years later Santa Rosa de Lima would also be baptized.

Since his childhood, Martín was very generous with the poor, to whom he gave part of the money when he went shopping. His mother often took him to the Church. His father, governor of Panama, provided him a good education.

Martin learned the job of barber, which included the one of surgeon and the general medicine. He did his job well, especially on behalf of the poor, he took the opportunity to speak to them about God, and his kindness was such that he moved everyone. He worked during the day and he devoted himself to prayer at night.

At the age of fifteen, he entered as a Dominican tertiary in the convent of the Rosary of Lima. There he was happy, serving with humility and charity those inside and outside the convent. He converted the convent into a hospital. He collected sick and wounded people on the streets, carried them on his shoulders and laid them in his own bed. He cared for them and spoiled them like a mother. Some religious protested, because it violated the enclosure and their peace. Charity is more important than enclosure, answered Martín. His rudimentary medicines, and even his hands, cured and worked miracles. He extended his charity even to the poor little animals he found hungry and wounded.

There were many homeless people in Lima during his time. He sought money and founded the Santa Cruz Asylum for boys and girls. There he took care of them and taught them a profession.

His favourite devotions were the Crucified Christ, and in memory of the sufferings of Christ on the Cross-he gave himself three disciplines daily. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and he spent hours before the Blessed Sacrament frequently in ecstasy. The Virgin Mary – especially under the title of the Rosary – with whom he conversed lovingly. Finally, the guardian angel, to whom he came very often. He fought tenaciously against falling asleep during his prayer.

When smallpox began to wreak havoc in Lima, Martin’s activity and care multiplied. He comforted and helped people everywhere. It is said that he enjoyed the privilege of multilocation (being in several places at once), seeing him healing and consoling simultaneously in several places. Everyone came to him. Everyone considered him a saint. He was the angel of Lima.

These aforementioned heroic efforts seriously weakened him. He fell ill. He knew he would not get out of that illness. He suffered many attacks from the devil, but he felt the consolation and company of the Virgin.

When he saw the happy moment of going to enjoy the presence God, he asked the religious around him to sing the Creed. As they sang it, he surrendered his soul to God. It was November 3, 1639.

His death caused a deep shock in the city. He had been the brother and nurse of all, particularly of the poorest. Everyone was fighting for some relic. The whole city offered him their last respect.

His worship has spread prodigiously. Gregory XVI declared him Blessed in 1837. John XXIII canonized him in 1962. During the canonization homily, the Pope recalled the devotions, with which the new saint had distinguished himself: His profound humility made him consider all others superior to him, his apostolic zeal, and his constant efforts to care for the sick and the needy. These three characteristics earned him the beautiful appellation of “Martín of Charity”.

Prayer to Saint Martin de Porres

In this need and sorrow, that overwhelms me, I come to you, my protector San Martín de Porres.

I want to feel your powerful intercession. You, who lived only for God and for your brothers, who have been so helpful in helping the needy, listen to those who admire your virtues.

I trust in your powerful courage so that, interceding before the God of goodness, my sins may be forgiven and I may be free from evil and misfortune.

Given me your spirit of charity and service, so that I may lovingly serve God in my brothers, and to do good to all.

Heavenly Father, for the merits of your faithful servant St. Martin, help me in my problems and do not allow my hope go unfulfilled.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.