A product of Lima, Peru, St. Martin de Porres is patron saint of barbers with a feast day on Nov. 3. The illegitimate son of a noble Spaniard with freed black slave Anna Velasquez, he was born in 1579 and lived until 1639. He joined the Dominicans as a lay brother in 1594 and worked as a farm laborer, chaplain, monastic caretaker, and barber.
The first black saint in the New World, Martin de Porres dreamed of becoming a missionary. This wasn’t meant to be, so he became a martyr in life with endless penances. He was known for resolving difficult disputes for his order.
Based on his burning love for animals, Martin de Porres started a dog and cat hospital at his sister’s residence. He is depicted caring for animals, even rats. Revered throughout his life and in death, he was credited with miraculous healing and raising the dead. His feast day is November 3rd.