Mother Henriette Delille (b. 1813), a mulatto free woman of color, founded the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans ca 1842. Her early religious training is said to have been associated with the Sacred Heart Convent in St. James Parish, La (probably at the nearby St. Joseph Convent of black nuns). Her primary focus was education of children of slaves - today St. Mary's Academy exists for education of AFAM girls in New Orleans. She is considered the first AFAM to be presented to the Vatican (thru Pope John Paul II) for sainthood (Her "positio", or biography was accepted by the Vatican Oct. 7, 2008). Family from her Pointe Coupee Parish roots insists that she be designated "Creole" in her quest for canonization. Approval to proceed with cause for beatification was granted by The Congress of Theologians at Rome (Pope Benedict) in May 2009. rvs For more information about Henriette’s cause please contact 504-241-9774 or send an email to A step Closer - A unaminous vote sent her posito to Pope Benedict in early March 2010. Beatification could occur by the end of this year if he approves. Ceremony would be scheduled at St. Louis Cathedral - a rare event since most ceremonies take place at the Vatican. see Story in N.O. Clarion Herald. DELILLE-VIRTUES (UPDATED) Mar-29-2010 Pope brings African-American foundress one step closer to sainthood By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood cause of Mother Henriette Delille, a freeborn woman of African descent in 19th-century New Orleans, declaring that she had lived a life of "heroic virtues." By signing the decree March 27, the pope confirmed the recommendations of Vatican authorities who have studied the cause for several years. She can be beatified once a miracle is attributed to her intercession. If her cause advances, she could become the first African-American saint.
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Venerable Henriette Delillea set by RPhotos2008
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