Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert

by Gary D. Schmidt and David Diaz

Born in Lima, Peru, in 1579 to a slave woman from Africa and a Spanish conqueror,... read more

Born in Lima, Peru, in 1579 to a slave woman from Africa and a Spanish conqueror, Martín de Porres faced poverty and prejudice for much of his early life. Even after his father claimed him and he was apprenticed to a healer, he was scorned as a mongrel. He wanted to join a monastery but was accepted only as a laborer until his skill and compassion forced people to see beyond their prejudice. Stories spread about his healing abilities and his kind heart. He was in demand among Spanish royals, but they waited while he tended to the Indians and poor in the barrios. Gary D. Schmidt’s lyrical description of the life of the man who would become the first Black saint in the Americas is set against David Diaz’s lush mixed-media illustrations that capture moments of great tenderness and compassion that define this account of de Porres’s life. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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