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Son of an Unknown Father
A Story about Martin de Porres

Son of an Unknown Father is a story about Martin de Porres. It opens a window on the culture of the New World in the sixteenth century and explores the spiritual growth of a black man who experienced and transcended racism from childhood to adulthood, often by bringing his pain to Jesus on the cross. It brings the reader from Martin's life as a young child, experiencing the rejection of his white father who was not in a lawful relationship with his mother, through the years spent with his father when he re-entered his life, to fifteen-year-old Martin entering the Dominican Convent in Lima as a donado, or servant, and the years spent there, healing the sick and ministering to the poor, until his death.

The final section, 'Life After Death,' traces the obstacles overcome by the church in the New World in bringing a reputedly holy Dominican to beatification on October 9, 1837, and canonization on May 6, 1962. The final chapter of the book explores how St. Martin de Porres, who lived in the sixteenth century, is indeed a saint for our time.

Son of an Unknown Father outlines the life of a sixteenth-century saint that is sure to awaken the interest of young readers. It includes themes of concern to contemporary youth: racial identity, racism, bullying, and classism. The author imagines how life would have been for Martin de Porres, who serves God in an unfair, troubled world, and presents images that will move and inspire the reader.


"Martin is very much a saint for our times and Sister Maeve's account of his life—simple and inspiring, in places surprising and thought-provoking—will help a new generation to know, to love, and to be challenged by this great man, Martin of Charity."
—from the foreword

"Son of an Unknown Father offers an engaging and highly readable account of the life of Martin of Porres for young people…. We are introduced to a man whose faraway world feels very much like our own, and whose intense devotion to God and equally profound concern for the suffering of others have made him a favorite saint throughout the modern world."
—Dr. Celia Cussen, professor of history, University of Chile

Sr. Maeve McMahon, OP, is a Dominican sister who lived and worked in New Orleans, Louisiana, for twenty-seven years. During this time, she was principal of a School of Excellence, honored in the White House and by the Department of Education of Louisiana as an outstanding principal. She is the author of Riding Out the Hurricane, which won a Nautilus Award, and A Dream of Fire: A Story about Dominic Guzman for young adults. She now lives in Dublin, Ireland.

ISBN: 978-08091-5666-5

Paperback $15.95 Add To Cart

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