de Porres, Martín

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Martín de Porres was born in Lima. There are two versions of his early life.

In one, he was the son of an unknown father and a free African-Peruvian mother, adopted when he was eight by a Spanish nobleman.

According to another story, his father was a Spanish nobleman who abandoned his mother, Martín and his sister because of their color, but returned when Martín was 15 to help support them.

Martín was trained as a barber-surgeon, and entered a Dominican monastery as a lay helper. Nine years later he joined the order officially. He was canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII because of his great purity and his love for all people, and is the patron saint of social action.


Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97
Ready, Dolores. The Boy Who Made His Pennies Go a Long Way: A Story about Martin de Porres. (Minneapolis: Winston Press, 1977)
Jeffrey, Colin, and Dunn, Paul. Martin from Peru: The Story of Martin de Porres. (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1980)
"Catholic Online Saints: Martin de Porres." Available at:
Matz, Terry. "Martin de Porres." Available at:
Windeatt, Mary Fabyan. Lad of Lima: The Story of the Blessed Martin de Porres. (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1942)


16th Century
17th Century
Ethnic or Religious Identity Confused or Concealed, Racism
Figures Whose Adoption or Fostering Is Fictitious, Disputed or Unconfirmed
School-age Years, Adolescence
Unmarried Mother, Single Parent (Mother or Father) Unable to Cope
Child Abandoned or Rejected by Birth Parent(s)
Priest, Religious, Teacher, Coach, Mentor, Patron, Apprentice Master or Owner
Unmarried Mother
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