A local priest is now one step closer to sainthood.
Father Augustus Tolton has advanced in his canonization from being classified as “Servant of God” to “Blessed.” The Congregation of Causes of Saints signed off this month that Father Tolton had lived a life of heroic Christian virtues.
August Tolton was born in Monroe County as a slave. As a child, he escaped with his mother and siblings to the free state of Illinois. He attended Seminary in Rome before returning to Quincy, where he became the first black priest in the United States. He died at the age of 43 from a heat stroke and was buried in Quincy in 1897.
Two miracles are required for him to be granted the title of Saint. One has been verified, the other is under review.