Saturday, July 14, 2012

Catherine, Lily of the Mohawks

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, by Father Claude Chauchetière, S.J. (circa 1690)

One of my favorite saints, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. In a time where Catholics are persecuted and ridiculed for their faith, not just with this whole HHS mandate thing, but over all in society, she is the perfect intercessor. She understands being shunned and abused for her faith.

She was born to a Catholic Algonquin mother and Mohawk father in upstate New York, but was orphaned after a small pox epidemic that saw her loose eyesight in one eye and left her face scarred. In 1676 she converted and was baptised by Jesuit Father Jacques de Lamberville. She escaped to Sault-Sainte-Marie in Canada to a village of Christian native Americans and continued to live out her fervently live out her faith until her death in Kahnawake (Caughnawaga), Quebec. She may not have been a consecrated religious, but she lived like one, a sort of Jesuit Sister.

Come October 21 she will be known as Saint Kateri, after her recognition Mass.  Pope Benedict VI promulgated her decree of canonization last December.

Sancta Catharina Tekakwitha, ora pro nobis

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