WILMINGTON — The annual Mass for Black Catholic Ministry, held in honor of St. Martin de Porres will occur this Sunday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, 1012 French St., Wilmington. Bishop Malooly will preside, with the pastor, Father John McVoy, concelebrating.
St. Martin de Porres was a Dominican lay brother who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. Born in Peru to a Spanish father and a Panamanian mother of African or possibly Native American descent, Martin grew up in poverty after his father deserted his family.
As a member of the Dominicans, he was a barber, and he cooked, cleaned, did laundry and worked in the medical arts. He spent many years working in the infirmary at his priory. He worked on behalf of the poor, establishing an orphanage and a children’s hospital.
St. Pope John XXIII canonized St. Martin de Porres in 1962. He is the patron saint of, among others, Black people, barbers, mixed-race people, and race relations. His feast day is Nov. 3.