Devotees will commemorate on Thursday, Nov. 3, the feast day of Saint Martin de Porres, the saint protector of mixed-race people.

St. Martin de Porres (Catholic Online)

Imus Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista will preside over a concelebrated high mass at the St. Martin de Porres Parish in Imus, Cavite at 5:30 p.m. It will be followed by a solemn procession of the image and relic of the revered saint at 7 p.m.

A holy mass will also be offered at the church at 6:30 a.m. followed by the blessing of pets and the distribution of St. Martin’s bread. A mass confirmation will be held at 4 p.m.

On Friday, Nov. 4, the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus will be held at 5:30 a.m., to be followed by a holy mass at 6:30 a.m. On Sunday, Nov. 6, the community thanksgiving masses will be held at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m.

Several towns, schools, medical facilities, and parishes in many parts of the country will also offer special masses in honor of the well-loved Peruvian lay brother of the Dominican Order and the first black American saint.

Known as the patron saint of social justice and inter-racial love, St. Martin was admired for his piety, charitable work, and love for the poor and the orphans, as well as for his great devotion to prayer and the Blessed Sacrament.

Also known as Martin of Charity, the popular saint was blessed with the gifts of healing, bilocation, and the ability to communicate with animals.

Born on Dec. 9, 1579 in Lima, Peru, to a Spanish nobleman and a black woman, St. Martin was said to have been abandoned by his father at birth because of his dark complexion. This painful rejection taught him compassion and generosity at a very young age. He died on Nov. 3, 1639 and was canonized on May 6, 1962 by then pope now Saint John XXIII who named him as the Saint Protector of the Mixed Race people. His major shrine is the Basilica of Santo Domingo in Lima, Peru.

Source: Manila Bulletin (