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47of74

Nation's first black priest, an ex-slave, declared venerable

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47of74

Some good news

Quote

Pope Francis this week deemed the first known black Roman Catholic priest in the United States to be “venerable,” positioning the former slave for possible sainthood.

The pontiff’s designation Wednesday of the Rev. Augustine Tolton as venerable, meaning the church intensely scrutinized his life and recognizes it as one of “heroic virtue,” puts Tolton two steps away from possible canonization, the Diocese of Springfield explained in announcing the designation.

Born to a Missouri slave in 1854, Tolton, his mother and two siblings, with help from Union soldiers, eluded Confederate guns and escaped across the Mississippi River into Illinois in 1862, settling in Quincy, a river city about 110 miles northwest of St. Louis.

Baptized a Catholic, the faith of his family’s Missouri owners, Tolton studied for the priesthood in Rome because his race precluded his acceptance to a U.S. seminary..

 

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medimus

Saints are my favourite part of Catholicism (though anglicans have them too of course). They are a lovely mix of history and myth (the older ones) and often have great stories , though there are lots of very weird ones too. I really like this story.

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