Our Patron Saint
Juan Martin de Porres Velazquez was born on December 9, 1579 to a Spanish nobleman and a freed slave woman of African and Native American descent. Under Peruvian law, people of mixed race were banned from becoming full members of religious orders. He became a volunteer in the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), and worked for them in return for the honor of wearing the religious habit and living with the community. He was finally allowed to profess religious vows and become a brother in the community, as his superior ignored the rules of the government. He served the community in the infirmary, caring for the sick, until his death on November 3, 1639. He was declared 'blessed' by Pope Gregory XVI in 1837, and canonized as a Saint on May 6, 1962 by Saint John XXIII. He is the patron saint of people of mixed race, barbers, public health workers, innkeepers, and social justice. His feast is celebrated on the day he entered eternal life, November 3.