Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Venerable Pierre Toussaint (June 27, 1766 to June 30, 1853)

   Slavery should never have happened. We all know that. But, instead of sitting around discussing it to no end, it's time take action.
  Venerable Pierre Toussaint was a freed slave and abolitionist who devoted his life to helping the poor, giving to charities, and spreading his faith. He was a pious and humble man and the work that he did should not be forgotten. Any recognition to Venerable Pierre Toussaint will bring him that much closer to sainthood.
  He was born in Haiti on June 27, 1766 on the plantation of Jean Berard. His grandmother taught him to read and write. Venerable Pierre Toussaint was a bright young man and Jean Berard allowed him to stay in the house to do his chores, not out in the fields.
  In 1787, Jean Berard moved to New York City and it was there that Venerable Pierre Toussaint found work as an hairdresser's apprentice.
  When Jean Berard died in 1807, he was a freed slave. Venerable Pierre Toussaint fell in love with another slave, Juliette Noel. He bought her freedom when she was 15-years-old and married her.
  The couple opened their home as a shelter for orphans, a bank, an employment agency, and a place of refuge for priests, the sick, and the poor.
  Venerable Pierre Toussaint became quite wealthy and helped fund the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral. He and Juliette raised his orphaned niece as their own child.
  Venerable Pierre Toussaint died on June 30, 1853. He was venerated in 1996.

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