Henriette Delille

Stained Glass Mural of Henriette Delille inside St Louis Cathedral , New Orleans

Ruth Goliwas Art & Design



Henriette Delille with children


Stained Glass Mural of Henriette Delille inside St Louis Cathedral New Orleans

Ruth Goliwas Art & Design

St. Louis Cathedral New Orleans





The Sisters of the Holy Family

click here for web site







Henriette Delille

moves closer to sainthood....

Click here


Proposed Cannonization for Sainthood by the Cathoic Church

Would become the First Person of Color to become a saint on American soil

The First Creole of Color or for that matter anyone of Color to do so

more interesting links


Proposed canonization... Click here





Henriette Delille ...Her story on video




A plaque honoring ....Henriette Delille



the first U.S. native-born Creole of African and White descent, whose cause for canonization has been officially opened by the Catholic Church



Sign the Petition click here


Henriette Delille

Born in New Orleans in 1812 by mixed parents, a free person of color. By 1836, she had inspired a group of women to assist the sick and dying, to feed the hungry, and bring the word of god to the uneducated people among her.

That same year, she wrote the simple prayer that guided her life: "I believe in God. I hope in God. I love and I want to live and die for God." By 1841, this group of pious women was both encouraged and recognized by the Church. The Sisters of the Holy Family trace their official origin to the following year.

By 1851, Henriette Delille had personally purchased a home where these women could live in community and further their ministry. At her death in 1862, Henriette Delille was known as one "who for the love of Jesus Christ had made herself the humble servant of slaves."

No Cross, No Crown:







Henriette Delille should be recognized as a Creole and not African American..

.. Click here



Henriette Delille was born into a prosperous and influential family in 1812. She was the youngest of the four children of Marie Josephe Diaz and Jean Baptiste Lille Sarpy (Sarpi) of French and Italian descent. Her mother was described as a femme de couleur libre (free woman of color), a quadroon.

Henriette’s grandmother was Henriette Leveau who had Marie Joseph with John Joseph
Dias, a wealthy Spanish Merchant. Henriette Leveau’s parents were Cecile Marthe Basile Dubreuil and ( ) Leveau. Cecile’s parents were Marie Ann and Claude Joseph Dubreuil, a Frenchman from France. Henriette’s family lived in the French Quarters not far from the cathedral.


The French Quarter
was where most of the Creoles of the city lived. All -- whether they were black, white, or racially mixed, slave or free - shared a common CREOLE cultural identity. Henriette, learned early in life the religious views of the Catholic faith. When Henriette was
17 years of age, she joined several friends to evangelize the city’s slaves and free people of color. They were Juliette Gaudin, Josephine Charles, and possibly Susanne Navarre. Juliette was
from Cuba and Josephine was a native of New Orleans.

They were all Creoles of Color. These youths gathered on Sundays to pray at the bishop’s chapel and at St. Louis Cathedral. During the
week they found delight in doing good, feeding the poor, and teaching catechism to the neglected colored children.




By 1836, Henriette Delille, along with her two friends were permitted to form a religious order, which at first was called The Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed VirginMary.

Henriette used all of her money which was willed to her by her mother to aid in her work with the poor, the needy and the sick.
The good works of these religious women soon got the attention of the Catholic Church prelates. By 1840, the ministry of these women had become so invaluable that Bishop Antoine

Blanc sent a request to papal officials that the association be affiliated with the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rome. The women who were encouraged to join them had to come from

families that were respectable, elite and wealthy Free People of Color (who were considered Creoles at that time) their affiliation was confirmed in 1841, just one year preceding the date
the Sisters of the Holy Family give for the establishment of their religious community. Therefore, Henriette and her friends established the First Order for Creole Nuns in America.

Henriette Delille wrote in her diary in 1836 these words: - “I believe in God. I hope in God. I love. I wish to live and die for God.” Mother Delille, along with her two friends, continued their religious work throughout the years until her death in 1862.
Henriette Delille has been placed up for canonization as a saint by the Sisters of the Holy Family and the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans as of 1989. She will be the first Native Born American -Creole saint to be so canonized.

NOTE: In most of the web links, it is written that the Sisters of the Holy Family consisted of both Creole and African women as nuns.







Creole or African / American

Not a Racial Issue but one of Culture

We Creoles have a Tedancy to think for Ourselves and never allow Others to determine what's right for Us ...There is no Other Country in the World , outside of America, that Legislate Ones' Race or Nationality

..We Creoles know what and who We are and it is ridiculous to think that another person or legislative body should determine for others, their nationality or Race

...During the time of slavery, We had no choice,,but those days are gone...Now We Creoles should be able to determine Who We are and how We should be called...We , as a People have been ignored and forgotten for so long that that even Creoles themselves are accepting the African/ American identity...

It has been said that you cannot legislate morality and neither can You Legislate Racial identity....We Are not Black and We are not White ...We are Creoles..and that is forever. Henriette Delille is not an AFRICAN / AMERICAN...and it should be Obvious to all...Lets give Her that honor and the Respect her Ancestors and she Deserve...




Associates for the Preservation of Creole Cultural Heritage, Inc.

Post Office Box 43313
Los Angeles, CA 90043

March 7, 2005

Archbishop Alfred Hughes
Diocese of New Orleans and
Sisters of the Holy Family
New Orleans, Louisiana

Dear Archbishop Hughes and Sisters
of the Holy Family:

This letter comes to you both as a last request that you cease and desist identifying Mother Henriette Delille as a Native Born African American (Only) in your desire to canonize her as a Saint of the Roman Catholic faith.

You can refer to my Petition (dated 1989) addressed to Pope John Paul of the Vatican, Rome, Italy in which I stated the reasons that Mother Delille should not be identified as a Native Born African American but as the Native Born French Creole American or in lieu of that a Free Person of Color that she was at the time of her death.

When Mother Delille lived, she was identified as a Free Person of Color and not an African-American. A Native Born African American could only be someone who had come directly from Africa, such as the slaves which were piled on ships for slavery purposes of the Europeans and the white Americans.

It is beyond me that you should continue the One Drop Policy
which has been outlawed as far back as 1975 in identifying Mother Henriette Delille who lived from 1812 to 1862, which basically came about through the Jim Crow Laws of 1896, in which all multiracials were thrown in with the newly emancipated slaves in 1865.

If the greatest importance in your minds is to focus on her
African ancestry,(so that you can gain on the financial and
political gains of the church and also make the many
African-American nuns happy) then state so but also give her other ancestries which are as follows - Italian and French
ancestry from her grandfather, Jean Baptiste Delille Sarpy
(Sarpi; Spanish ancestry from her mother, Marie Joseph Diaz;
French ancestry from her great great grandparent - Claude Joseph Dubreuil.

Millions of Creoles throughout America and all over the
continent will be up in arms should this canonizaton go on as you have published throughout all of the churches from the east coast to the west coast;and I don’t think that you will be happy over their discontent and outcrying over your misidentification of Mother Henriette Delille. This will bring a blight to her canonization. So it is beyond me that you would want to go against history.

I will await your decision on this matter. I would rather not
bring this issue to the public for your sakes. But should this
be necessary, you leave me no other avenues.


Mrs. Marion I. Ferreira,
President & Founder of
Associates for the Preservation
of Creole Cultural Heritage

cc: Pope John Paul, Vatican, Rome Italy
Congress of Bishops

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