16 Black Saints and Advocates for Racial Justice
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Immerse yourself in the dramatic stories of the black saints of the Catholic Church!
16 Black Saints and Advocates for Racial Justice is a collection of saints who represent the unique and special contribution of people of color. All of the saints in this volume made remarkable contributions to the life of the Church. Simply through their holiness they have forever enriched us. But even beyond that, they have also made substantial contributions in other ways. The great Saint Augustine of Hippo, for example, is one of the most remarkable thinkers in the Church. Other saints noted here gave brave witness in shedding their blood for Christ, thus winning the crown of martyrdom, such as the heroic Charles Lwanga and his companions. Some of them, such as Saint Josephine Bakhita, overcame tremendous obstacles, including slavery, to dedicate their lives to Christ.
These saints came from all walks of life. Some were members of religious orders, such as Saint Martin de Porres and Saint Benedict the Moor. Others were married, such as Blessed Isidore Bakanja and Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo.
Two of the saints selected, Peter Claver and Katharine Drexel, were Caucasian. But they dedicated their whole lives to working for people of color, which is why they are included here. Their example of love for neighbor can inspire us to act in the same manner toward all of our brothers and sisters today.
While this small volume is not comprehensive of all Black saints, it is meant to make better known the contributions and holiness of the saints included. We might ask ourselves: what would the world be like without these great saints? What has the wonderful witness of holiness by all these saints added to our Church?
It is important for us as Catholics to honor and celebrate those saints who often faced obstacles and hatred because of the color of their skin. Their love for Jesus overcame all of those obstacles and can greatly move us as we struggle in our own lives.