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November 3


Saint of the day:
Saint Martin de Porres

Patron Saint of Peru, Mixed Race, Barbers, Public Health Workers, Innkeepers 

Saint Martin de Porres’ Story

“Father unknown” is the cold legal phrase sometimes used on baptismal records. “Half-breed” or “war souvenir” is the cruel name inflicted by those of “pure” blood. Like many others, Martin might have grown to be a bitter man, but he did not. It was said that even as a child he gave his heart and his goods to the poor and despised.

He was the son of a freed woman of Panama, probably black but also possibly of indigenous stock, and a Spanish grandee of Lima, Peru. His parents never married each other. Martin inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother. That irked his father, who finally acknowledged his son after eight years. After the birth of a sister, the father abandoned the family. Martin was reared in poverty, locked into a low level of Lima’s society.

When he was 12, his mother apprenticed him to a barber-surgeon. Martin learned how to cut hair and also how to draw blood–a standard medical treatment then–care for wounds, and prepare and administer medicines.

After a few years in this medical apostolate, Martin applied to the Dominicans to be a “lay helper,” not feeling himself worthy to be a religious brother. After nine years, the example of his prayer and penance, charity and humility, led the community to request him to make full religious profession. Many of his nights were spent in prayer and penitential practices; his days were filled with nursing the sick and caring for the poor. It was particularly impressive that he treated all people regardless of their color, race, or status. He was instrumental in founding an orphanage, took care of slaves brought from Africa, and managed the daily alms of the priory with practicality, as well as generosity. He became the procurator for both priory and city, whether it was a matter of “blankets, shirts, candles, candy, miracles or prayers!” When his priory was in debt, he said, “I am only a poor mulatto. Sell me. I am the property of the order. Sell me.”

Side by side with his daily work in the kitchen, laundry, and infirmary, Martin’s life reflected God’s extraordinary gifts: ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where he prayed, bi-location, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures, and a remarkable rapport with animals. His charity extended to beasts of the field and even to the vermin of the kitchen. He would excuse the raids of mice and rats on the grounds that they were underfed; he kept stray cats and dogs at his sister’s house.

Martin became a formidable fundraiser, obtaining thousands of dollars for dowries for poor girls so that they could marry or enter a convent.

Many of his fellow religious took Martin as their spiritual director, but he continued to call himself a “poor slave.” He was a good friend of another Dominican saint of Peru, Rose of Lima.





St Martin de Porres

(d. 1639, Lima, Peru) (Relics: Lima, Peru)

Convento de Santo Domingo

(Convent of Saint Dominic)

Jr. Camaná 170

Lima, Peru

*The remains of three prominent Peruvian saints rest within this convent. The tomb of St Martin de Porres is located within a chapel in the convent’s second cloister. St Rose of Lima (d. 1617) is buried in the crypt below the Chapter House.

Also located at this convent are the remains of St John Macías (d. 1645).

Churches of Honor in Rome


Santissima Trinita dei Spagnoli

(The Most Holy Trinity of the Spanish)

Via dei Condotti 41

Rome, Italy

*This church is near the Spanish Steps.

*A small statue of St Martin de Porres is in the first chapel on the right side of the nave.







Pollo a la Brasa

(Peruvian Roasted Chicken)


  • 1 whole broiler/fryer chicken (2-3 pounds),
    or bone-in/skin-on chicken pieces of your choice

  • For the marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

  • ¼ cup dark beer

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoons huacatay paste

  • 1 tablespoon aji panca paste

  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin

  • ¾ teaspoon ground annatto, for the red color

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less according to heat preference)

  • Peruvian Aji Verde Sauce, for serving

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

  1. Loosen the skin on the chicken and rub some marinade under the skin. Place the chicken or chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over. Swish around to even coat the pieces. Marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  2. If using a convection oven (that's what I used): Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and roast the chicken pieces for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and roast the chicken for another 15-20 minutes.

  3. If using a conventional oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and roast the chicken pieces on the middle rack of the oven until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 160 degrees F, about an 45 minutes. If the skin begins to brown too much, move the roasting pan to the bottom rack. You can also reduce the oven temperature.

  4. Remove the chicken from the oven. It is recommended that you tent the chicken with foil for 10-15 minutes before serving. If using a whole chicken, cut the chicken into serving pieces.

  5. Serve the chicken with Peruvian Aji Verde Sauce.

  6. Traditional sides include a leafy salad and thickly cut French fries.


* For all you BBQ'ers, this chicken is also fantastic barbecued over coals and wood chips!
* The oven-roasting instructions are for chicken pieces. If using a whole chicken, increase cooking time until internal temperature of chicken reaches 160 degrees F.

Peruvian Aji Verde Sauce



  • 2 green jalapeno peppers, seeded

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 small clove garlic

  • 1 green onion, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons huacatay paste

  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ cup good quality mayonnaise


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste. Keep refrigerated for up to a week.

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