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Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Former Slave Proposed as an American Saint
Only a few decades ago, black Catholics in some parts of America had to stand at the end of the line for Holy Communion — a travesty of the sacrament meant to make us all one in Christ. Jesus Himself provides the rebuke: “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”

So it is fitting that on the short list of Americans who have been proposed for sainthood is a black New Yorker, Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853), a freed slave who, because of his race, was forbidden to ride the city's omnibuses.

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