Flora Cantábrica

Matias Mayor

Martin de Porres English..23,11,21

Martin de Porres English




Martín was already 12 years old and was left in the care of his mother who raised him with great care and holy fear of God, since she was a good Christian and kept the Catholic faith until he died11. His mother was employed in the family home of Isabel García Michel and Martín lived there until he was 15 years old. They lived in the Malambo neighborhood, predominantly poor people. Shortly after arriving from Ecuador, in 1591, at the age of twelve, he received confirmation from the holy Archbishop Toribio de Mogrovejo in the cathedral.


The daughter of the house where he lived, Francisca Vélez Michel, says in the Trial that, since then, Martín showed signs of being very obedient and fervent. Sometimes, he asked the housewife for pieces of candle to light up at night and, going to observe what she was doing, she saw him kneeling, with his hands and eyes raised to the sky, in prayer and contemplation.


To learn how to earn a living, he went to serve in the store of the apothecary Mateo Pastor, who taught him how to use medicines. And, as in those days, pharmacies were like first aid stations, he was also able to learn to remedy the pains of the patients who came there, taking an apprenticeship that would be very useful for him to be a nurse. He trained as a barber and learned how to bleed the sick, remove teeth, purge, suture, put on suction cups, apply ointments and other jobs to cure the sick.




At the age of fifteen, in 1594, he thought to give his life to the service of God and of others, wishing to enter the convent of Santo Domingo. His mother did not oppose his vocation and she herself led him to present him to the Prior. According to the established norms, he could not agree to be a priest or a lay brother, because he was a mulatto and was left only as a donated brother, something like a servant of the Community to perform the most humble services.


It is interesting to note that, at that time, the convent of Santo Domingo was one of the largest in America. It had between 230 and 250 religious16. According to the Franciscan chronicler Fray Buenaventura de Salinas y Córdova, he gave alms to the poor every day 246 small loaves of loaves at the portería. Every Sunday they distribute 15 raw rams to 50 houses of poor Spanish women, other than cooked and seasoned, which are distributed every day to the poor who eat at the gatehouse, which all together make 21 rams every week.


In addition to this, all the meat that the religious leave in the dining room and the pieces of bread are added for the poor, which usually fill two large baskets. And during Lent, on Fridays and Saturdays, they distribute a lot of fish, guarancos, beans (beans) … with which they support the poor17. With this we can already give an idea of the immense work that was in the convent with so many religious to attend and so many poor people to feed, help and heal


and Of course there were several non-priest religious brothers; But, from the beginning, Martín distinguished himself among them by his humility, helpfulness and joy. His main occupations were to be a doorman, a wardrobe, a barber, an apothecary nurse, apart from cleaning, ringing the bell and helping mass every day. He was like that, leading an exemplary life for 9 years. And, seeing his good behavior, the Superiors admitted him to perpetual religious profession. He was 24 years old




  Saint Martin did much penance, offering his sufferings for the salvation of others. He was very abstinent in his food. And this was reduced, the days that the Community ate meat, to a bowl of broth and some vegetables; and on fish days, some legumes. And this was very moderate. Seeing it, it seemed impossible to sustain a human body like this


Every day, after prayers, he locked himself in his cell and spent just over three-quarters of an hour in prayer and discipline. He flogged himself with a discipline that had three branches, which had iron with its rosettes. And, finished, he called this witness (Juan Vázquez Parra) and asked him to cure his back with vinegar, which he did. And seeing this witness how injured his back was, he told him many times not to do that and to choose other ways of penance and he always replied that all this was nothing for what he deserved.


And all this he told this witness with a cheerful and smiling face without showing any weakness.




His dress was very humble and poor, because he had no more than a slang tunic that reached up to his knees and, over it, the habit of no more shirt as a result of meat … His bed was a coffin with a mat for a mattress and a piece of wood for headboard. And with being so rigorous, she used it a few times, because most nights she let herself be carried away from the little time of sleep on a bench or bench at the feet of a sick person, when she saw him fatigued or at risk. And in charity it was so great that, without being expensive, this witness judges that they could call him with a just title Fray Martín de la charidad


On one occasion when Father Pedro de Montesdoca was ill with a bad leg, Brother Fray Martín came to serve him and because I don’t know what childishness that happened in the cell, the said Fray Pedro got angry with him and disgraced him, saying that it was a mulatto dog and other bad reasons. And at nightfall on the day of this event, he entered the cell with great peace and joy with a caper salad, saying to the said father: “Hey, father, are you already out of bed? Eat this caper salad that I bring you


And, seeing the said Father Fray Pedro who had been wanting them all day and suffering from the reluctance of eating and the pain of having his leg cut off the next day, it seemed to him a serious thing that he had brought him what he had been wanting and that That was the work of God, he asked Brother Fray Martín for forgiveness and thanked him for the gift; and with great fervor he asked her to hurt him and see that they were about to cut off his leg. To which the said brother came and saw her and put his hands on her, with which he was healthy and free from what threatened him


Father Cristóbal de San Juan affirms that he served sick religious on his knees and was thus assisting them at night at their bedside for eight and fifteen days, according to the needs in which he saw them being, lifting them, laying them down and cleaning them, even if they were the most disgusting diseases, all with the burning heart of an angel in view of this witness and the rest of his brothers




Poor Spaniards were waiting at the door of the gate for said servant of God, to heal postmasses and incurable, aged and medicine-rebellious sores. And in four days that he healed them and laid hands, he reduced them to a better state, healing them


He did the same to the Indians and blacks whom the said servant of God cured with ardent zeal for charity and love of God that burned in his soul. And at this time there was a plague in this city of a disease that they call rug or measles in which this witness had sixty patients in his


The same witness points out that at noon, at lunchtime, the servant of God went to the refectory (dining room) and carried a cup and a pot to collect his food and the rest that was left over to the religious who ate at his side and, if He saw some poor man at the door of said refectory, his restlessness was remarkable until he was sent to eat… And with the said servant of God not eating more than bread and water because of his great abstinence, he wanted everyone to eat very well, because of his great charity. And when he finished eating, he took out his pot and his cup full of food and went to the kitchen of the infirmary, where poor Spaniards, blacks and sick Indians awaited him at those hours, and even dogs and cats that at that hour were waiting for sustenance for hand of the servant of God.


For this, the venerable Fray Martín came out with great humility to beg for alms through the streets of the markets and other parts of this city. And how he was so loved and esteemed by the most important people


Father Gonzalo García recalls that on many occasions he saw that in the convent some men entered the infirmary through the false door, bringing them wounded and with some penetrating and fatal wounds, and applying a medium remedy to the wound and making the sign of the holy cross on her, without other remedies, within a few days they were healthy and good


On many occasions he expressed his desire to be a martyr in Japan. In this regard, Father Francisco de Arce states that he heard a religious of proven virtue say that he went to Japan most of the days in spirit and that there he communicated with those of those nations.





Sergeant Francisco de la Torre, who was staying in the cell of Fray Martín, declares that the servant of God took him to lunch and dinner with great charity. One night, having collected himself in the cell … he saw that the said servant of God came to the cell and locked himself inside; and without speaking a word to this witness, he was in the first room of the cell and this witness heard him say angrily, as if speaking to someone: “Why did you come in here? What do you have to look for? Go away!». And so other insulting words that he said to her










This witness was surprised that the said servant of God was angry at that fate for being like him, he was very peaceful and humble in his condition and treatment, and he went out to want to see at the door of the said bedroom with whom he was quarreling. And in that instant, he saw the said servant of God that they brought him rolling around the cell and giving him many blows without being able to see who he was or to see any lump. And then he saw this witness that the cell was burning and also the bedrooms in which the clothes of the sick were kept; and this witness was in remarkable confusion and fear. Then, seeing the servant of God burn the said fire, he began to shout, calling for help … And both, each one for their part, began to put out the fire and in effect put it out


Later, this witness went to pick up without asking anything, because he was terrified and frightened, and throughout the night this witness could not sleep or calm down from the great fear he received. And, thinking about it, he heard three o’clock in the morning, and the servant of God arose from the dais on which he was reclining; in which he had a stone for a headboard and a skull next to it, and he went to touch the Dawn, as was his custom


And then this witness got up to see the damage that the fire had caused and, looking at the part and place where he had put it out, he did not find anything or sign or even the smell of smoke, so he was left with more fear and terror ; mostly, when he had patently seen said fire burn. And he was presuming that he could not have done it if he is not the devil, a persecutor of the servants of God




But Fray Martín de Porres not only cured or cared for sick men or women, but also felt the same devotion to animals. It was said that he used to call them «brothers» and he performed various types of miracles to help them or help them in times of tragedy or danger.


It is well known, for example, the story that he made dog, cat and pericote eat in a single dish, however, there are other stories that speak about the fray’s relationship with animals. It is said, for example, that once, the infirmary of the convent was suffering from the presence of rats. These used to gnaw the dresses and other clothes of this establishment, therefore, it was decided to place traps to capture and kill these animals. Once, a rat fell into one of these traps, Martín, seeing this, approached the trap and released the rodent, telling him not to spoil the clothes of the infirmary and that in exchange, he offered to bring them the food that they wanted to the garden of the infirmary. And so did the rats and Fray Martín. No garment was destroyed again in the infirmary and rats only appeared in the garden, every time Fray Martín went to feed them.




The same niece affirms that her mother, Juana de Porras, had had a key made for a large desk, where her husband Agustín Galán kept the money, with the intention of taking it from her without him knowing it. The next day, Juana met Fray Martín in the street, who said to her: «My sister, how have you done such a bad thing in having made keys to steal money from your husband?», Greatly spoiling the action and giving him many reprimands . He told her to throw her out there and not use her, that he was there to help her in whatever was offered, as he did, while he lived.




Bilocation is the simultaneous presence of the same person in two different places.

Dr. José Manuel Valdés, in his well-documented biography of our saint, tells us about a merchant from Lima, a friend of Fray Martín, who must have traveled to Mexico. While in that city, a serious illness occurred to him and, then, he remembered his friend Fray Martín, who had already cured him on some occasion while in Lima, and he invoked him, saying: My beloved Fray Martín, my nurse. I am seriously ill in this city, ask God to free me from this disease ”. And saying these and other similar supplications, he saw Blessed Fray Martín enter through the door of his bedroom, who told him: «Trust in God, that you will not die from this disease» …, and he applied some medicines to him. When asking Fray Martín where he was, he replied: “In the convent















The merchant believed that he was in the convent of Mexico. And the next day, when he was healthy, he went to visit him, but there no one knew anything. And, when he returned to Lima, he went to visit him at the Santo Domingo convent, where some religious confirmed that he had never left Lima, but to go to the Limatambo hacienda107.


But San Martín de Porres not only «went» to places far from Lima, but he could even be, according to witnesses, in various countries of the world

One of the witnesses is Francisco de Vega Montoya, who declared, under oath that when he was captive in Algeria he met a religious who cured sick prisoners, giving food to the poor, and clothed the naked. What’s more, he claims that he was one of the people this man helped. At that time he did not know from what country or who this person was, however, once he arrived in Lima, he met with Fray Martín de Porres, and had no doubts: He was the man he met at that time. country


Francisco says that when he saw the friar, he ran to hug him and asked him for the date of his arrival. However, Martín signaled him to be quiet and once they were alone, he begged him not to talk about the subject of Algeria with the other people. The man kept his word, however, some time later, he learned that Fray Martín was only leaving Lima to go to Limatambo or the Port of Callao, it was then that he began to tell the story of Algeria and the strange presence of the friar. in that distant country. Other testimonies assure that one of the proofs of the presence of this saint in other lands was his knowledge of different languages. One of these witnesses is Francisco Ortiz, who assured that he once went to visit Fray Martín de Porres at the convent and he received him speaking in Chinese. The language that Ortiz knew very well, since he had long lived in Manila (Philippines), and there he had dealt with many Chinese. Another witness, Fray Francisco Arce, assured that a highly respected religious told him that he had frequently seen Fray Martín, in Japan, where he taught the word of Jesus Christ.




Monsignor Don Feliciano de Vega, bishop of La Paz and elected archbishop of Mexico, was evicted of all the doctors, who recommended that he be given the viatico and extreme unction … They called Fray Martín and the bishop ordered him to go to bed and give him shake hands. «Why does a prince want the hand of a poor donated mulatto?» And the archbishop said: «Put your hand on this side where I have pain.» And then to the point he felt without the said pain, putting the said Fray Martin’s hand on him. And recognizing the action, he was disturbed and his face turned very red and began to sweat extremely and said: «Is not enough already, sir?». And the archbishop replied: «Let it be where I have put it.» And while he was like this for a while, he was completely relieved, free of fever with great admiration from those present and much greater from the doctors who returned in the afternoon and, loudly, one and the other said that it was a marvel that God had worked for this servant of yours


Most wonderful of all, he cured incurable diseases almost instantly with the power of God. Often, to disguise, he gave them hot water or put an ointment on the wounds, or a little earth or a herbal plaster, to make them believe that it was the remedy that cured, so that they would not praise it, as he preferred come humbly in second place. Sometimes, he would say to the sick: «I will heal you and God heal you




One of these testimonies is that of one of the many men that the saint gave shelter in his cell. This witness says that he saw him twice suspended in the air, praying with his knees bent and his hands together. Another testimony indicates that one afternoon, a man saw him in his cell on his knees in front of the crucifix, with his arms crossed, his eyes focused on the image, and with his body raised in the air. This was also witnessed by a friar named Fernando Aragonés, who says that once while they were on a hill near the city, sowing medicinal plants, accompanied by Fray Martín, he saw him rise in the air at a height of 3 meters for an hour and a half.


  Another assures that once he entered the saint’s cell and did not find him there, however, he looked up and saw Fray Martín, raised above the door of the cell, such was the height that the man had his feet above his head. of the saint




Another of those strange events that surrounded the saint include stories of transformation of bodies and even invisibility. It is said that one day, two dangerous criminals, fleeing from the authorities, entered the convent and reached the cell of Fray Martín. They asked and begged him to let them hide in his cell because they feared for his life. Martín de Porres, agreed to hide them on the condition that they pray on their knees, along with him. The criminals accepted and began to pray. It is said that the authorities, perhaps because they saw the criminals enter the convent or because someone gave them notice, they found Brother Martin’s cell, entered it, and searched every corner of the small place to search for the two criminals. The only thing they found were 3 mattresses. Apparently, both Martín de Porres and the two criminals, during his prayer, had received the grace to transform themselves into mattresses so as not to be found by the authorities.


The story goes that one day Fray Martín decided to plant olive trees in Limatambo (it is said that about 700), with the purpose of supplying oil at a low cost to the city. It is said that in a matter of hours, the plantations had a miraculous development. This is how this story is told:


«Fray Martín planted more than six thousand feet of olive trees in Limatambo, which the day after they were planted, had shoots and leaves, without any spoiling, which have produced copious fruits to help the community.» As is known, each olive tree cutting takes months to sprout, and a year to leaf through, so «it is clear that the development in a few hours of all the feet planted by Fray Martín was miraculous.» Moreover, all the feet without exception prospered, and none failed. «This event filled all those who witnessed it with admiration, the truth was proven with authentic statements, and to perpetuate the memory of it, it was called from then on, the Olivar de Fray Martín».




Maria was always present in her life as a good mother. She always wore a rosary around her neck and another on her belt, as was the custom in religious in Peru; and she prayed the rosary every day like a good Dominican.


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