2013 Pura Belpre Illustrator Award Winner As the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave, Martin de Porres was born into extreme poverty. Even so, his mother begged the church fathers to allow him into the priesthood. Instead, Martin was accepted as a servant boy. But soon, the young man was performing miracles. Rumors began to fly around the city of a strange mulatto boy with healing hands, who gave first to the people of the "barrios." Martin continued to serve in the church, until he was finally received by the Dominican Order, no longer called the worthless son of a slave, but rather a saint and the rose in the desert.