Dr. Sousa Martins

21 10 2010

Dr. José Tomás de Sousa Martins (1843-1897) was a doctor and pharmacist renowned for his work amongst the poor in Lisbon. After his death, a secular cult has arisen around him in which he is thanked for ‘miraculous’ cures. Born in Alhandra he moved to Lisbon in his youth, and qualified in pharmacy (1864) and medicine (1866). He then practiced as a doctor in the Pena area of Lisbon, specialising in the treatment of tuberculosis. His work was entirely on a secular basis, but he was noted in his life for the care he gave to the poor. In 1897, realising that he has contracted tuberculosis himself and could only expect a painful death, he committed suicide.

Yet since the memorial was erected in 1904 at Campo dos Mártires da Pátria outside the main Faculty of Medicine, it has become the focal point for a religious devotion to Dr. Sousa Martins. People who come here believe that by praying to him and asking for his intervention, they will be cured.

-from here