50th Anniversary of the Canonization of St Martin de Porres


This year, the Dominicans in Peru and indeed the whole world are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the canonization of St Martin de Porres. Martin de Porres who was born on the 9th of December, 1579 in Lima, was a lay brother of the Dominican Order who lived a very simple life in the service of his brothers in the convent. He died on the 3rd of November, 1639, was beatified in 1937 by Pope Gregory XVI and later canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He is specially venerated at the Church and Convent of St Dominic in Lima, Peru.

According to Fr. John Joseph Salaverry,OP (Provincial of the Province of St John the Baptist, Peru), the celebration of the Jubilee is special to the Dominican Order in Peru because it recalls the glorification of one of their brothers who expressed the greatness of God in a simple and humble life. Martin de Porres is a clear indication of God’s choice for the poor and needy. A black brother who was of service to all his brothers without any distinction as to their rank, race or culture. His sole concern was to generously serve all those who were in need of comfort and support. This is the great preaching of Bro. Martin of Charity, a preaching done quietly within the convent yet heard all over the world. His was a preaching that came from a deep and profound experience of God. This is a paradigm from St. Martin and it is one that is valid today as it was in his time. The brothers in the Province of St John the Baptist are privileged to have their brother, St Martin de Porres among them. He is a source of blessings and encouragement and they are committed to following his noble way of life.

In Peru, the entire faithful, not just Dominican brothers, have great devotion to St Martin de Porres. Every November, there are various celebrations in his honour. On Tuesdays, all year round, worshipper gather at the Basilica at Lima to seek for his intercession. There are public processions organized as an expression of public faith and devotion to him.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of his canonization, several activities have been lined up. The Dominican brothers in Peru want this jubilee year to be a time of spiritual growth for them. The celebrations are in conjunction with the entire Dominican Family and the faithful. There is already a common prayer for the jubilee, the prayer is for the special intercession of St Martin de Porres.


Programme of Activities

First Part: Opening (5 – 6 May, 2012)

The opening of the Jubliee year of St Martin de Porres will be in Lima. It will begin with a procession with the relic of St Martin, from the Convent of Holy Rosary of Lima to the Archdiocesan Cathedral. The Dominican brothers will bear the ark of the relic and they will be assisted by Franciscan and Augustinian brothers. At the Cathedral, they will be received by Bishop William Abanto, Auxiliary Bishop of Lima. Together with the faithful, they will sing the vespers.

The next day, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne will officiate at the Mass of Thanksgiving at the Basilica of Lima. Dignitaries have been invited; Peruvian Episcopal Conference, Major Superior of different religious bodies, civil and religious authorities in the city, parishes etc. After the Eucharistic celebration, there will be a procession round the city with the statue of St Martin de Porres.

Second Part: Pilgrimage with the Relic of St Martin de Porres (May – October, 2012)

There will be exposition of the relic of St Martin de Porres in several dioceses. Special considerations were given to places where the Dominicans have presence so that the faithful can also visit our houses, convents, monasteries etc. Some bishops have also asked for the exposition of the relic in their ecclesiastical jurisdictions.

The relic will be carried in a chest made of wood by a craftsman from Cuzco. The is a special chest since the relic is a first degree relic. It is a work of art with carvings of the first cloister of the convent in Lima, the image of Christ as in the conventual chapter where St Martin experienced levitation and also the image of the banner at his canonization.

Third Part: The Celebration of the Feast of St Martin de Porres (November - December, 2012)

This will be on the 3rd of November. It will be an occasion of joy and it will be presided over by the Master of the Order, Fr Bruno Cadoré, OP.

Before the feast day, there will be a special meeting of Cooperator brothers in the Order to reflect on the importance of their ministry and vocation in the Order. This meeting will be held at the Home of Spirituality of St Rosa of Lima (birthplace of St Rose of Lima) from the 31st of October to the 3rd of November.

There will also be a meeting of the Martinanian Guild. This is a group of lay fraternities under the patronage of St Martin de Porres. This meeting is intended to help the members grow in their spirituality and the virtues of which St Martin is known.  This meeting will take place in Lima from the 15th to the 17th of November.

Finally, the Jubliee year of St Martin de Porres will come to a close with a Solemn Eucharistic celebration at the Convent of Lima on the 9th of December, 2012.