HENRIETTE DELILLE, 1813-1862 a New Orleans Free Person of Color/FPC or Gens de Couleur Libre
CO-FOUNDER OF SISTERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY
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Mother Henriette Delille, a Spanish/French/Italian Creole, from one of New Orleans most prominent Creole families in the community, was the co-founder of one of the first orders of New Orleans historic Creole women Catholic nuns, the Sisters of the Holy Family. This Catholic charitable organization was set up to cater to other Free Creole women of Color. Mother Delille spoke perfect French, with dark hair that she pulled back from her milky white French-Creole skin and was still a very, young woman when she dedicated her life to serving other Creole girls of color within the structure of the Catholic faith.
Mother Henriette Delille, like most Creoles during this time frame, had a great-grandparent who was of African or Native American ancestry-if not a mix of both. Creoles, of Louisiana during those days and even today-aren't classified as really black or white. Some Catholic busy bodies are attempting to use Mother Delille's one great grandparent to classify her as a native born African-American! This is wrong and reverse racism.
Mother Delille, gave all of her fortune, reputation, and life (against the wishes of her wealthy Creole family) to bettering the lives of people of color, both slaved(African) and free(Creoles of Color or mulatto). Mother Delille was neither African nor Mulatto but a typical white Creole who may have had some non-European ancestry of African and Native American. She gave up the life of New Orleans French-Creole luxury for the Catholic church. Mother Delille served Creole women of Color and intervened in the old Creole Placage system of Louisiana where mixed-race Creole women would have arrangements with white French noblemen. French noblemen would take mixed-wives (not African) the women had to have that Quadroon(African,Native American,European) look of mixed blood and would provide financial assistance to the mistress and the off spring of such unions. This was known as Placage.
Mother Delille would encouraged Creole women of color(Octaroon,Quadroon or Mulatto) and their French male host to marry, bringing them into the church for the priest to perform the ceremony. This was an out of the ordinary act for French-Creole social culture at the time and illegal! Placage arrangements were as normal in New Orleans as Mardi Gras is today!
Currently, Mother Delille is in the Catholic canonization process to become a nun. The handlers of this canonization would like to deceive and lie by transforming her into a native African. If this happens then the Catholic church will have confirmed its racism and imperialistic motives of colonization and enforcing a Jim Crow, racist "one drop of African blood" rule which is ignorant and racist!
Knowing that women of my family, likely spoked and walked the streets of New Orleans with Mother Delille-I feel great disappointment at the Catholic establishments for going around on a tour of deception of marketing and lying by saying that she was a native born African. They are well aware that they are lying and using Mother Delille's image for their own gain and Earthly purposes.