Who Are Some Black Female Saints?

Two black female saints were St. Augustine's mother, St. Monica of North Africa, who prayed for her immoral son's conversion for years; and the 20th century's St. Josephine Bakhita of the Sudan, who was kidnapped, enslaved and later freed. St. Monica was a laywoman, while St. Josephine became a nun.

Monica was born in Thagaste in present-day Algeria in 331 A.D. She was a devout Christian who converted her violent-tempered, pagan husband to Christianity. He died within a year of conversion. She educated her son Augustine, born in 354, in religion and moral living, but as he admitted in his own book, "Confessions," he became a sinner. St. Monica prayed earnestly for 17 years to bring him back to righteousness. Finally, St. Ambrose, Monica's special counselor, baptized Augustine in 387. St. Monica died later that year.

Josephine Bakhita was born in 1869. When she was young, Arabs kidnapped her and sold her into slavery. An Italian consul purchased her and treated her well, unlike previous, harsh treatment she experienced. She, the consul and his friend left the Sudan for Italy, where she lived with another family and became their daughter Mimmina's babysitter and companion. The family gave Josephine and Mimmina over to the Canossian Sisters in Venice. St. Josephine became very religious and was so virtuous she was dearly loved. She reportedly performed miraculous cures and was a friend of the weak and poor. She died in 1947.