Hundreds of Catholic faithful filled the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on Nov. 5 for the 56th annual Mass in honor of St. Martin de Porres. Louisiana Bishop Shelton J. Fabre was the main celebrant for the Mass that also marked the start of National Black Catholic History Month in November.

Canonized in 1962, St. Martin de Porres was a 16th-century Peruvian son of a freed slave. During his life, St. Martin became known for his miraculous intercession, extreme acts of penance and long hours of prayer. He is the patron saint of African American Catholics, mixed-race people, innkeepers, barbers and public health workers; his feast day is Nov. 3.

See our coverage of the Mass here. (Photos by Sarah Webb.)