Roman Catholic Saint. He was the son of a Spanish nobleman and a Black woman. His father abandoned him and his younger sister, leading to a life of poverty. When he was young, his mother sent him to work as a helper to a surgeon, where he learned to care for the sick. Under Peruvian law, descendants of Africans and Native Americans were barred from becoming full members of religious orders, thus he later entered the convent as a lay brother in the infirmary. In 1603 he was allowed to profess religious vows as a Dominican lay brother. St. Martin looked after the ill and did any humble task assigned. He effected many cures and also ran a hospital for cats and dogs. He lived a life of simplicity and devotion to all creatures. He fed hundreds of people daily and founded a residence for orphans and abandoned children in the city of Lima. During an epidemic, sixty friars became ill. He is said to passed through locked doors, which was a miracle, to care for the ill friars. He was beatified in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI and canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He is the patron saint of mixed-race people, barbers, innkeepers, public health workers, and all those seeking racial harmony. His Feast Day is November 3rd.
Bio by: Linda Davis