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Henriette Delille. . .

. . . is the first US native-born African American whose cause for canonization has been officially opened by the Catholic Church. She was born in New Orleans in 1812, a free person of color. By 1836, she had inspired a small band of women to assist the sick and dying and to catechize the uninstructed among "her people." That same year, she wrote the simple prayer that guided her life: "I believe in God. I hope in God. I love and I want to live and die for God." By 1841, this group of pious women was both encouraged and recognized by the Church. The Sisters of the Holy Family trace their official origin to the following year. BY 1851, Henriette Delille had personally purchased a home where these women could live in community and further their ministry. At her death in 1862, Henriette Delille was known as one "who for the love of Jesus Christ had made herself the humble servant of slaves" (an echo of the vow made by St. Peter Claver in Colombia).

Henriette Delille Web Site

Prayer for the Beatification of Henriette Delille

O good and gracious God, you called Henriette Delille to give herself in service and in love to the slaves and the sick, to the orphan and the aged, to the forgotten and the despised. Grant that inspired by her life we might be renewed in heart and mind. If it be your will, may she one day be raised to the honor of sainthood. By her prayers may we live in harmony and peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Nihil Obstat: Rev. Msgr. Franz Graef, STD

Imprimatur: Most. Rev. Francis B. Schulte, Archbishop of New Orleans, August 23, 1997

For further information (such as holy cards), write:

Director, Henriette Delille Commission Office

6901 Chef Menteur Highway

New Orleans, LA 70126-5290

Fax: 504-241-3957


This page originally appeared as a post by Will Austin in the CatholiCity-talk forum.

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