Black Catholic History Month

I’ll admit that I had forgotten that November is Black Catholic History Month!  A reminder from Miriam on her monthly events calendar got my attention.  Which goes to show the value of a diverse genea-blogger community: as I recall, Miriam grew up in a Salvation Army household.

And to make matters more embarrassing for me, today, November 3, is the feast day of St. Martin de Porres. Born in Lima Peru, in 1579, he died on this date in 1639.  He was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1962.  He is often regarded as the first black canonized saint in the Western Hemisphere. He was a mulatto Dominican brother.  He is among other things, the patron saint of barbers, and the patron saint of the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi.  Known also as St. Martin of Charity because of his work among the poor, and “the Saint of the broom” because of his devotion to work, his mother had been a slave of a Spaniard in South America.  We will have more about St. Martin de Porres later in the month.  But we kick off black Catholic history month this year with a golden oldie in the next post: Catholic Genealogy and Gunsmoke.


One Response to “Black Catholic History Month”

  • Craig, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I grew up in The Salvation Army, but the Catholic Church had a huge influence on me, as it was our family’s second church home…someday, I’ll have to blog about that! I look forward to hearing more about St. Martin, and any other posts about Black Catholic Month!


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