Life Of Saint Benedict, Surnamed “The Moor”, The Son Of A Slave

Life Of Saint Benedict, Surnamed “The Moor”, The Son Of A Slave

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Benedict was beatified by Pope Benedict XIV in 1743 and canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII. It is claimed that his body was found incorrupt upon exhumation a few years later.

Benedict is remembered for his patience and understanding when confronted with racial prejudice and taunts. He was declared a patron saint of African Americans,[7] along with the Dominican lay brother, Martin de Porres. In the United States, at least seven historically-black Roman Catholic parishes bear his name, in the following cities: Washington, DC,[8] New York City,[9] two in Chicago – St. Benedict the African, East and St. Benedict West; in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[10] in North Omaha, Nebraska, and Dayton, Ohio.[11] St. Benedict the Moor ( Winston- Salem, North Carolina) Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Capuchin friars of Milwaukee’s St. Benedict the Moor Parish serve a meal for the homeless six days a week as part of a ministry to reach out to transient, disenfranchised and isolated people. Grambling, Louisiana also has a parish, St. Benedict the Black.

The latest church in the United States to be placed under his patronage is the Parish of St. James-Resurrection-St. Benedict the Moor, established in 2003 under the leadership of Father Francis Tandoh, C.S.Sp., a priest from Ghana. The parish maintains a ministry to natives of that country, as well as parishioners from two previous parishes merged to form it.[12]

St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, established in 1874 and located in the Historical District of Savannah, Georgia, is the oldest Catholic Church for African Americans in Georgia and one of the oldest in the Southeastern United States. Churches named for him have been founded in [13]Columbus, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida.

Veneration of Benedict is spread throughout Latin America, from Mexico through Argentina. In Venezuela, particularly, his devotion is spread through the country’s various states, and he is celebrated on many different dates, according to the local traditions.

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