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 | By James Watts

Black Catholic History Month: Meet the Holy Six

It is commonly known that during November Catholics celebrate the holy days of All Saints and All Souls. However, since 1990, November is also known as Black Catholic History Month.

While the Church does not have any recognized African American saints, there are six candidates on the road to sainthood. Referred to as the “Holy Six,” the black Catholics ministered in the United States and are currently under formal consideration for canonization. Each of these men and women - Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Venerable Henrietta DeLille, Venerable Augustus Tolton, and Servants of God Mary Lange, Julia Greeley, and Thea Bowman - bathed in Christ’s love and exhibited that love during hard times in history.

The witness of the Holy Six inspires and challenges the faithful to respond to the call to holiness, being drawn deeper into the mystery of Christ’s saving love. While they experienced hardships, suffering, and animosity, they remained steadfast to Christ’s call, showing us all how to come together to work for a society that reflects God’s beautiful plan of love for the human person.