Celebrating the rich history, tradition, and contributions of black Catholics
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia kicks off Black Catholic History Month with its 57th Annual Saint Martin de Porres Mass. Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput O.F.M., will be the principal celebrant and homilist.
Thursday, November 7, 2019
6:30 p.m. (Musical Prelude)
Mercy Career and Technical High School Philadelphia Catholic Gospel Choir
6:50 p.m. (Procession)
7:00 p.m. (Mass)
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Portraits banners of six Catholic men and women of African descent, who are currently candidates for sainthood, will be included in the opening procession of the Mass.
All are welcome to join the Black Catholic community of the Archdiocese at this liturgical celebration.
In 1990, the Black Catholic Clergy Caucus inaugurated Black Catholic History Month. November was chosen as it holds two significant dates for Catholics of African descent—the Feast Day of Saint Martin de Porres on November 3rd and the birthday of Saint Augustine of Hippo on November 13th.
Background on Saint Martin de Porres
Saint Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru, in 1579. The illegitimate son of a black freewoman from Panama and a Spanish nobleman, he encountered poverty, discrimination, and hardship throughout his life. Undeterred, he dedicated himself to caring for the poor and sick. After much struggle, he was allowed to become a Dominican lay brother. Pope John XXIII canonized Martin de Porres in 1962, making him the first saint of African descent in the Americas.
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Editor’s Note: For more information on the 57th Annual Saint Martin de Porres Mass, please call the Office for Black Catholics at 215-587-3541.