Venerable Pierre Toussaint was a devout Catholic philanthropist known for his compassion, generosity, and unwavering faith. His impact on society extended far beyond his lifetime!

Recognized for his exceptional virtues, he is currently on the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church.

Here are 7 things to know and share about Venerable Pierre Toussaint:

Venerable Pierre Toussaint Facts
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

1. Pierre was born into slavery in modern-day Haiti in 1776. His slave owners brought him to New York City.

2. After gaining his freedom in 1807, Toussaint became a prominent hairdresser in New York City and an active member of the Catholic community.

3. He attended Mass daily at the same parish Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton went to!

4. He supported the poor, the sick, and orphaned children with his earnings in New York City. He also purchased the freedom of other slaves--including his future wife, Juliette Noel.

Who is Pierre Toussaint?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

5. Pierre Toussaint played a significant role in the construction of Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in Lower Manhattan. He also was influential in fundraising for the first Catholic orphanage.

6. Toussaint actively worked to improve the lives of African Americans and fought against racial discrimination. He began the first school for black children in New York City.

7. Pope St. John Paul II declared him "Venerable" in 1996. His cause for canonization is ongoing.

Here is a prayer for the canonization of Venerable Pierre Toussaint:

Lord God, source of love and compassion, we praise and honor You for the virtuous and charitable life of our brother in Christ, Venerable Pierre Toussaint.

Inspired by the example of our Lord Jesus, Pierre worshipped You with love and served Your people with generosity. He attended Mass daily and responded to the practical and spiritual needs of friends and strangers, of the rich and the poor, the sick and the homeless of the 19 th century, New York.

If it is your will, let the name of Venerable Pierre Toussaint be officially raised to the rank of Saint, so that the world may know this Haitian New Yorker who refused to hate of be selfish, but instead lived to the full commandments of heaven and the divine law of love—love for God and for neighbor.

By following his example and asking for his prayer, may we, too, be counted among the blessed in heaven.

We ask for this through Christ our Lord. Amen

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