Ven. Pierre Toussaint begins ministry as a free man

April 27, 2021 |

Photo attributed to Paczilla007 at English Wikipedia., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Pierre Toussaint had come to New York from modern-day Haiti with his owner in 1787 and become established as a well-known hairdresser. After his owner dies penniless, Toussaint supports his late owner’s wife through her emotional and physical ailments. Eventually she grants him his freedom. He uses his stable income to buy freedom for his sister and his future wife, and to support many individuals and charities including an orphanage and school for Black children. He cares for the ill when yellow fever sweeps the city, and opens his home to homeless youth. Pierre Toussaint is declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

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