Source: The Washington Post
Augustus Tolton’s miraculous journey has inspired a canonization effort and a one-man play
The story of America’s first black Catholic priest begins with a miraculous escape from slavery in 1862.
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.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Peter Tolton ran away to join the Union Army. Months later, Martha Tolton also fled with her three children, Augustus, Charles and Anne — a bid for freedom that nearly ended in capture.