Today is the Feast of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint. Happy feast day!
“The remarkable life and deep faith of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is a beautiful and timely reminder that Jesus Christ seeks to enter into a loving relationship with all people of all cultures and all places,” said Craig Pohl, Director of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Lansing, July 14.
“Hence, we should be inspired but not surprised to find that throughout salvation history, nation after nation, culture after culture, has embraced life with Jesus Christ and his Holy Church with the same love, piety and enthusiasm as Saint Kateri did in 17th century North America.”
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 near the town of Auriesville, New York, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She was baptized by Jesuit missionary Fr. Jacques de Lambertville on Easter of 1676 at the age of twenty. She devoted her life to prayer, penitential practices, and the care of the sick and aged in Caughnawaga near Montreal (where her relics are now enshrined). She incurred the hostility of her tribe because of her faith. She was devoted to the Eucharist, and to Jesus Crucified, and was called the “Lily of the Mohawks.” She died in 1680 and was canonized on October 21, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI. The Collect at Holy Mass today prays:
“O God, who desired the Virgin Saint Kateri Tekakwitha to flower among Native Americans in a life of innocence, grant, through her intercession, that when all are gathered into your Church from every nation, tribe and tongue, they may magnify you in a single canticle of praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”
Have a very happy and holy feast day. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us!
* Credit: Additional material courtesy of Catholic Culture at https://www.catholicculture.org/