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Baltimore's Mother Mary Lange: The First African-American Saint?

Photo Courtesy / Archdiocese New Orleans

Longtime civil rights activist Ralph Moore is leading an effort to convince Pope Francis to canonize Mother Mary Lange, an African American nun who settled in Baltimore in 1813.  In the 1820s, she founded an order of religious women in the city called the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first permanent community of Black Catholic sisters in the United States.

Mother Lange and the sisters were renowned for educating black children in Baltimore, providing shelter to orphans and tending to the sick during the cholera epidemic of 1832. Already named a “servant of God” by the Vatican, Mother Lange is a candidate for sainthood. If canonized, she would be the first African American saint.  Ralph Moore joins Tom to discuss why that declaration is important.

To lend your voice to the campaign calling on Pope Francis to canonize Mother Mary Lange, send brief letters of support to either or both of these papal addresses:

St. Peter’s Basilica
His Holiness Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City


The Apartment for the Pope
His Holiness Pope Francis
Saint Martha House
00120 Citta del Vaticano (Vatican City)

Please email copies of your letters to Ralph Moore at vpcs@yahoo.com and to NAACP-Md President Willie Flowers at contact@naacpmaryland.org.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)