St. Benedict the Black (d. 1589), a Franciscan
brother in Italy, was canonized in 1807. St. Martin de Porres (d. 1639), a Dominican
brother in Lima, was canonized in 1962. This son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed
slave was known for his compassion.
Josephine Bakhita (c.1868-1947), a former Sudanese
slave who joined the Canossian Daughters of Charity in Italy, was canonized last
October. In 1964, 22 Ugandan martyrs were beatified.
The first black follower of Jesus may
have been the Ethiopian eunuch baptized by Philip (Acts 8:26-40).
to http://www.catholic.org/saints and
click on “Black Saints.” You will find a partial list, including Saints Monica and
Augustine, patrons of many African-American parishes in the United States.