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While several saints of the Catholic faith have celebrations connected to them, such as St. Patrick and St. Nicholas, a Black saint from Peru has not enjoyed the same level of recognition. St. Martin de Porres is the patron saint of racial harmony, barbers, mixed-race peoples and public health workers.

Porres was born December 9, 1579 in Lima, Peru. He was the illegitimate child of a Spanish nobleman and a former Black or indigenous slave. Because of his race, Porres, who was deeply religious, was not allowed to become a full member of any religious order in Peru but was able to work as a volunteer level with the Dominican clergy.

Reportedly, he refused full brotherhood status for years because he didn’t feel he deserved the right due to being mixed-race.

However, his charity to the poor, a deep knowledge of health practices of the time, and his unyielding faith endeared him to the Dominican clergy who  him as a brother. He cared for everyone that came to him and was adored by many, and yet he considered himself nothing but a “mulatto” and “poor slave.”

Saint Porres died in 1639. Pope John XXIII officially canonized him in 1962.



The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
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2 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: St. Martin de Porres

  1. ᴍʏ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ᴘᴀʏᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ᴡᴀs ғᴏʀ 𝟷𝟷𝟶𝟶𝟶 ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀs… ᴀʟʟ ɪ ᴅɪᴅ ᴡᴀs sɪᴍᴘʟᴇ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴄᴏᴍғᴏʀᴛ ᴀᴛ ʜᴏᴍᴇ ғᴏʀ 𝟹-𝟺 ʜᴏᴜʀs/ᴅᴀʏ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪ ɢᴏᴛ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜɪs ᴀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ɪ ᴅɪsᴄᴏᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴏᴠᴇʀ ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴘᴀɪᴅ ᴍᴇ ғᴏʀ ɪᴛ 𝟿𝟻 ʙᴜᴄᴋs ᴇᴠᴇʀʏ ʜᴏᴜʀ… ᴛʀʏ ɪᴛ ʏᴏᴜʀsᴇʟғ . ℝ𝔼𝔸𝔻 𝕄𝕆ℝ𝔼

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