Black Catholic Candidates for Sainthood

Visit the USCCB website to read “On the Road to Sainthood: Leaders of African Descent”

This listing (courtesy of the Catholic Church in Africa website) is an attempt to put together a monthly calendar of some African Saints, Blesseds, Venerables, holy men and women of African ancestry, those of the ancient Church of North Africa, as well as those of later centuries including those of the twentieth century. 

Thank you to Mr. John S. Mutiso for the work you put into this compilation.



Life & Accomplishment(s)

Feast Day

St. Fulgentius


Bishop of Ruspe, Tunisia.

January 1st

St. Paul


Egyptian Hermit and founder of Monastic life in Thebes.

January 15th

St. Anthony


Founder of monastic life in the desert of Egypt.

January 17th

St. John the Alms Giver


Patriarch of Alexandria.

January 23rd

St. Gelasius


Bishop of Rome and third African Pope (492-496).

March 1st

St. Josephine Bakhita


Sudanese slave girl born in 1869.  She was later sold to an Italian Consul who took her to Italy where she eventually became free.  She was baptized and later joined the Canossian Sisters in Vicenza Italy, lived a holy life, and beatified May 17th, 1992.  She was canonized on October 1st, 2000.

February 8th

SS. Perpetua & Felicity


Martyred in Carthage along with 6 other companions.

March 7th

St. Maximilian (Marmilian)


Martyred at Theveste, Numidia after refusing to serve in the Roman Army.

March 12th

St. Benedict the Black


Sicilian, son of African parents; the first African to be canonized through the regular canonical process.

April 4th

St. Zeno


Born at Cherchell, Algeria; missionary in Verona, Italy, where he becomes Bishop of Verona (c.362).

April 12th

St. Marcellinus

4th Cent.

He was an African Missionary to France.

April 20th

St. Athanasius


Bishop of Alexandria.

May 2nd

SS. Timothy & Maura


Husband and wife martyred in Southern Egypt.

May 3rd

St. Isdore of Chios


Alexandrian army officer beheaded for his faith.

May 15th

St. Julia of Tunisia


Slave girl crucified for her faith.

May 22nd

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions


Martyrs, canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964.  The 22 young court servants were martyred for their faith by Uganda King Mwanga in 1886.  Along with them were 80 young Anglicans.

June 3rd

St. Onuphrius

4th Cent.

Egyptian hermit.

June 12th

St. Cyril of Alexandria


Patriarch of Alexandria (412-444).

June 27th

St. Shenute


Founder of monastic life in Egypt.

July 1st

St. Anatolius

c. 282

Philosopher and scientist of Alexandria.

July 3rd

St. Pantænus


Head of Alexandrian Catechetical School and missionary to Persia (Iran).

July 9th

St. Eugenius

5th Cent.

Archbishop of Carthage.

July 13th

St. Speratus & Companions


The 12 marytrs of Scillium, Carthage, Tunisia.

July 17th

St. Aurelius

5th Cent.

Archbishop of Carthage, Tunisia.

July 20th

St. Victor I


Bishop of Rome and first African Pope (189-199).

July 23rd

St. Rutilius

4th Cent.

North African martyr.

August 2nd

Blessed Isidore Bakanja


A Congolese labourer and catechist martyred for his faith

August 8th

Blessed Victoire Rasoamanarivo


Foundress of the Catholic Actionin Madagascar, beatified in 1989.

August 21st

153 martyrs of Utica


Thrown into a pit of quicklime in Utica, Tunisia.

August 24th

St. Monica


Mother of St. Augustine of Hippo, widowed at age 40.

August 27th

St. Poemen


A desert monk known for his holiness, and who encouraged frequent Communion.

August 27th

St. Augustine of Hippo


Bishop of Hippo Regius (modern Annaba) on coast of Algeria, Doctor of the Church.

August 28th

St. Moses the Black


A slave, gang leader, who after conversion died a martyr of non-violence on August 28th, his feast day.  That date providentially coincides with the march to Washington by 200,000 African Americans in 1963.

August 28th

Blessed Ghebre Mikha’el


Ethiopian priest and martyr.

September 2nd

St. Donatian and Companions


Martyrs, six Bishops of the Ecclesiatical province of Byzaccne (present day Tunisia and Algeria), killed for their faith by the Arian Vandals.

September 6th

St. Nemesia and Companions


9 Bishops, several deacons and lay persons who died in a marble quarry in North Africa

September 10th

St. Maurice and his Theban Legion (from Egypt)


Martyrs, who were killed at Agauno, Switzerland for refusing to sacrifice to pagan divinities.

September 22nd

St. Matthew

1st Cent.

Apostle and Evangelist.  According to one ancient tradition, he was the first evangelizer of Nubia (modern Sudan)

September 21st

St. Raissa

c. 300

Virgin and martyr from Alexandria

September 22nd

SS. Aizan and Sazan


 Twin Brothers; Aizan was the first Christian Emperor of the Kingdom of Axum, Ethiopia.

October 1st

St. Thais


Egyptian penitent, converted after many years as a prostitute.

October 8th

St. Cerbonius


African missionary Bishop in Italy.

October 10th

St. Michael Aragave

4th Cent.

One of the first Ethiopian Monks.

October 11th

St. Sarmata


A disciple of St. Anthony of Egypt, martyred by Saracens in the Egyptian desert.

October 11th

5000 African martyrs and confessors of the faith


African martyrs deported and killed for their faith by the Vandal King Huneric.

October 12th

Commemoration of the Saints of the Ethiopian Church:  St. Frumentius (Abba Salama) and  Aedesiuis


Syriac monks and founders of the Church in Ethiopia.

October 27th

St. Elesbaan


An Ethiopian King who died as a monk in Jerusalem.

October 27th

St. Lalibala (Ghebre Mesqel)


Ab Ethiopian Emperor revered for his faith.

October 27th

St. Martin de Porres


Born in Peru, son of a Spanish father and an African slave mother, who became a pharmacist at an early age and later joined the Dominican Order, where he continued to dispense medicine to the poor, while living a humble and austere life, with great devotion to the Eucharist.

November 3rd

St. Pierius

4th Cent. 

Head of the Cathechetical School in Alexandria

November 4th

St. Achilias


Head of religious instruction in Alexandria

November 7th

St. Nennas


An Egyptian soldier in Phygia, who fled from persecution and became a hermit.

November 11th

St. Arcadius and Companions


Martyrs, victims of the Arian Kind of the Vandals, Genseric.

November 13th

St. Gelasius


Bishop of Rome and third African Pope (492-496), liturgical reformer, who ordered the reception of Communion under both species.

November 21st

St. Catherine of Alexandria

4th Cent.

Virgin and martyr who suffered martyrdom in Alexandria.  Her relics are said to be kept in the monastery of St. Catherine of Sinai.

November 25th

St. Peter Martyr of Alexandria


Patriarch of Alexandria during the Roman persecution who was skilled in the sciences and had deep and extensive knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.

November 25th

St. Cassian of Tangiers


A lawyer who resigned and became Christian and died as a martyr.

December 3rd

St. Melchiades


Bishop of Rome and second African Pope (311-314).

December 10th