175 years after establishing the Sisters of the Holy Family order, Henriette Delille, a French-speaking woman of African descent stands at the doorstep of sainthood. If canonized, it will make her the first New Orleanian, and the first U.S.-born black person, recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
Delille was only 24 when both of her children died. Shortly after she experienced a religious transformation that led to the formation of the Sisters of the Holy Family order which continues to serve to this day. This community of creole nuns administered to the elderly, nursing the sick and taught people of color who at the time had limited education opportunities.
Delille’s cause for canonization was opened by the Vatican in 1988 and over the next 17 years received 3,000 pages of historical data from several cities and countries to make her case.
Contrary to popular belief, despite having a sports team named after it, New Orleans has yet to have an official saint. In fact, Delille is already farther in the process than other local hopefuls. (Blavity)