Venerable Pierre Toussaint was a Haitian-American, one-time slave brought to New York in 1787. A sainthood candidate, he was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1996. Author/speaker Meg Hunter-Kilmer joined Twelve Wicker Baskets to discuss the life of saints, including Toussaint.
After being freed in 1807, Toussaint became a successful barber and used his wealth to support philanthropic causes. He played a major role for the Catholic church in New York, helping to finance the construction of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and serving as the founder of Catholic Charities New York.
One of Hunter-Kilmer’s central messages is that the saints were not born saints. They are not “dull outlines of immaculate lives, saccharin, plaster images gazing vapidly heavenward,” as she had once imagined them to be. Thinking of saints like that makes becoming one impossible.
In this episode, she discusses four saints whose lives exemplified the heroic virtue of generosity and who understood their time, talent and treasure as gifts to be offered in stewardship. You can learn more about Venerable Pierre Toussaint by listening to Generous Disciples: What the Saints Teach Us About Stewardship with Meg Hunter-Kilmer.