African-Americans, against rats, barbers, bi-racial people, black people, hair stylists, hairdressers, hotel-keepers, innkeepers, inter-racial justice, mixed-race people, mulattoes, Negroes paupers, Peru, poor people, public education, public health, public schools, race relations, racial harmony, social justice, state schools, television
Illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a young freed black slave, he grew up in poverty. Spent part of his youth with a surgeon-barber from whom he learned some medicine and care of the sick.
At age 11 he became a servant in the Dominican priory. Promoted to almoner, he begged more than $2,000 a week from the rich to support the poor and sick of Lima. Placed in charge of the Dominican's infirmary; known for his tender care of the sick and for his spectacular cures. His superiors dropped the stipulation that "no black person may be received to the holy habit or profession of our order" and Martin took vows as a Dominican brother.
Established an orphanage and children's hospital for the poor children of the slums. Set up a shelter for the stray cats and dogs and nursed them back to health. Lived in self-imposed austerity, never ate meat, fasted continuously, and spent much time in prayer and meditation. Great devotion to the Eucharist. Friend of Saint John de Massias.
He was venerated from the day of his death. Many miraculous cures, including raising the dead attributed to Brother Martin. First black American saint.
Through Jesus Christ's Precious, Pure and Holy name I pray. - Amen
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