From slavery to possible sainthood: The story of America’s first black priest

Augustus Tolton, who is now being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church, was born enslaved in Missouri in April 1854. His parents, Peter and Martha Tolton, had him baptized Catholic, the faith of the family that owned them.

Tolton is one of six African Americans and three former slaves being considered for sainthood — a process that can take decades.

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