Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru, the son of a Spanish nobleman and an African former slave. After his father left the family, Martin worked for a barber and eventually became a Dominican lay brother. Through small tasks, like sweeping the monastery floors, he grew in holiness. Martin tended to the sick, miraculously cured the poor and noble alike, and founded a home for orphans. Martin also loved animals and kept an animal shelter at his sister's house.